Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis slammed Disney after the CEO spoke out against recently passed legislation intended to prohibit the teaching of transgenderism and sexual orientation to young students in kindergarten through third grade.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek spoke out against the legislation during the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday saying, “We were opposed to the bill from the outset, but we chose not to take a public position on it because we thought we could be more effective working behind the scenes, engaging directly with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.”
In response, Gov. DeSantis fired back, claiming that Disney is hypocritical for doing business with the Chinese Communist Party while complaining about the Florida law.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday in Boca Raton, Florida, DeSantis said the following:
“You have companies, like at Disney, that are going to say and criticize parents’ rights, they’re going to criticize the fact that we don’t want transgenderism in kindergarten in first-grade classrooms. If that’s the hill they’re going to die on, then how do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China? Because that’s what they do, and they make a fortune, and they don’t say a word about the really brutal practices that you see over there at the hands of the CCP.”
Democrats have seized on the legislation by branding it as harmful to gay children. They call it the “ don’t say gay” bill, despite no mention of the phrase in the legislation.
The text of the relevant portion of the bill reads, “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.”
Regardless, Democrats, including Joe Biden, continue to claim that the law intentionally targets gay students, while Republicans argue the legislation’s primary objective is to protect parents’ rights.
The bill passed the Florida Senate, and DeSantis is expected to sign the legislation into law.