OPINION: This article contains commentary which may reflect the author's opinion
Walt Disney World may be punished by Republicans in Florida for opposing the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill by repealing an existing law that has allowed it to govern itself for 55 years.
Spencer Roach, a Florida House member, tweeted on Wednesday that lawmakers met twice this week to discuss revoking the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which he called ‘a license for Disney to impose itself on its own citizens.
Spencer, a Republican, said: ‘If Disney wants to embrace woke ideology, it seems fitting that they should be regulated by Orange County.’
Yesterday was the 2nd meeting in a week w/fellow legislators to discuss a repeal of the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which allows Disney to act as its own government. If Disney wants to embrace woke ideology, it seems fitting that they should be regulated by Orange County. pic.twitter.com/6sj29Gj6Wz
— SpencerRoach (@SpencerRoachFL) March 30, 2022
According to the 1967 act, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which encompasses roughly 25,000 acres in Orange and Osceola counties, was created by then-Governor Claude Kirk, a Republican.
There are 19 landowners in the district, the largest of which is Disney World. The landowners govern the district. In addition to overseeing land use and providing essential public services, the municipality is responsible for providing fire protection, emergency medical services, water services, electric power and sanitation. Moreover, the district is responsible for maintaining all public road and bridge infrastructure.
Disney World’s special status has been jeopardized following the entertainment giant’s opposition to the Parental Rights in Education Act. Republican Gov Ron DeSantis signed the bill into law on Monday, sparking a flurry of protests by LGBTQ activists.
Daily reminder …
Keep your children far away from Disney.
— Catturd ™ (@catturd2) March 31, 2022
In Kindergarten through third grade, it is illegal to discuss sexual orientation or gender identity in the classroom. Many believe the law was drafted in order to marginalize the LGBTQ community and their families.
In the ensuing fight over this law, Disney, Florida’s largest employer, and a major contributor to politicians has found itself at the center of an increasingly bitter battle after progressive workers and customers attacked Disney for making donations to all the sponsors of the so-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill without calling it out.
NEW: Disney production coordinator Allen March, who says his team is committed to "exploring queer stories" and promoting "trans," "bisexual," and "gender nonconforming" characters, says kids are "getting all this information from the media" and "there's a lot of power to that." pic.twitter.com/rgxXgcIEwA
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) March 31, 2022
After the backlash that included walkouts and protests, Disney CEO Bob Chapek declared earlier this month that he would meet with DeSantis to talk about rejecting the bill.
‘I understand our original approach, no matter how well-intended, didn’t quite get the job done,’ explained the CEO.
The company issued a statement after DeSantis signed the bill into law, saying: ‘our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts.’
In response to Disney’s new position on the law, DeSantis called the company deceptive and inconsistent.
‘You’ve got to wonder why is the hill to die on to have transgenderism injected into kindergarten classrooms, or woke gender ideology injected into second-grade classrooms. Why is that the hill to die on?’ he asked while appearing on Tucker Carlson’s show.
‘Meanwhile, if we’ve done a bill that prohibited talking about the abuse of Uyghurs in China, Disney would’ve supported that legislation. They won’t say a word about that,’ he added.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis & Tucker Carlson discuss Disney's opposition to the new anti-grooming bill:
"You've got to wonder why it is the hill to die on to have transgenderism injected into kindergarten classrooms, or woke gender ideology injected into second-grade classrooms?" pic.twitter.com/IIF1RyoCeN
— Scott Morefield (@SKMorefield) March 30, 2022
In his remarks, DeSantis noted that Disney Cruise Line sails to the Dominican Republic, a country that bans gay marriage and permits discrimination against gays.
‘So they’re fine doing that and lining their pockets, they’re fine lining their pockets from the CCP, and all the atrocities going on there,’ he said, referring to China’s Communist Party, which the company thanked in the credits of the live-action Mulan remake. ‘But it’s those kindergarteners in Florida that they really want to have transgenderism as part of their core curriculum in school.’
Disney’s about-face on the law has been condemned by some conservative employees, and public boycott requests have been made.
Cancelling Disney subscriptions sends a loud and immediate message to all of corporate America.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) March 31, 2022
Jose Castillo, who manages a Disney resort and is running for Congress in Florida, believes his employer’s decision to oppose the law may hurt business, as not everyone who works at the resort is a ‘raging liberal’.
During an interview with Fox News, Castillo contends that many employees are in favor of the bill, but that the company’s retaliation against them is killing freedom of expression.
Under the alias Ethan L. Clay, a Disney employee alleged the company’s leaders have “surrendered” to the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) ideology and had instilled a culture that frightens employees who oppose the law and instills a culture of silence.
‘I encourage everyone to ignore the bloviating of Disney executive leadership, from CEO Bob Chapek all the way down to park VPs,’ Clay wrote in a blog post appearing on Quillette.com on Tuesday. ‘These people are not thought-leaders or cultural revolutionaries. They are cowards held hostage by the prevailing narrative, and they will run in whichever direction that narrative dictates.’
It's amazing that Disney executives were falsely accusing Ron DeSantis of "Don't Say Gay" while they were requiring theme park employees to eliminate the words "ladies," "gentlemen," "boys," and "girls."
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) March 30, 2022
In a speech Wednesday, President Biden lashed out at the ‘political attacks’ against transgender children coming from state legislators throughout the country, such as Florida’s bill that leftists call the “don’t say gay” law. The bill, which Governor DeSantis signed into law on Monday, merely bans pedophiles in the school system from attempting to brainwash children in kindergarten through the 3rd grade into believing they are a different gender than they were born.
Biden, taking the side of the non-normals, announced on ‘Transgender Visibility Day,’ ‘Visibility matters, and so many transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming Americans are thriving. Despite this progress, transgender Americans continue to face discrimination, harassment, and barriers to opportunity.’