As the controversy surrounding Florida’s divisive “Don’t Say Gay” bill and Disney’s response to it continues, a group of Republicans from the US House of Representatives have sent a letter to Disney CEO Bob Chapek condemning his stance against the bill, according to FOX Business.
The letter, composed by Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC), expresses extreme disappointment with Disney’s decision to speak out against the bill, which would prohibit educators teaching kindergarten through third grade from discussing any topics pertaining to gender identity or sexual orientation “in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards,” while also enabling parents to sue school districts if they feel the policy is violated. Critics of the bill claim that its vague language effectively restricts teachers from discussing any LGBTQ+ topics with students, and serves as a form of erasure.
Norman’s letter responds to Disney’s criticism, saying “as a company, your goal should instead be to make a profit, provide job opportunities for hard-working Americans, and offer quality products and services to your customers – not cowering to a small political minority seeking to impose a fringe ideology on the rest of the country.”
The letter also mentions that Disney never voiced opposition to the bill while it was being debated, but only after it passed the legislature, further adding that Disney previously donated to sponsors and supporters of the bill, accusing the company of “[waiting] until facing progressive backlash to release a hostile statement in opposition to this legislation.”
We condemn your outspoken attack on Florida ’s common-sense protections for children and parents, and we worry your words will be weaponized and used to further divide and inflame our nation. We stand in opposition to the dangers posed by corporate wokeness, and we applaud the Florida legislature for giving children and families the tools to fight back against woke indoctrination. We urge you to reconsider your antagonistic comments.
Co-signers of the letter include Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO), Rep. Mary Miller (R-IL), Rep. Matt Rosendale (R-MT), Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), Rep. Byron Donalds (R-FL), Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX), Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC).
Republican officials have shown an increased hostility towards Disney in recent weeks. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated it was “unlikely” that he would meet with Chapek regarding the bill, despite a previous commitment, while Florida House of Representatives members have meet to possibly repeal the Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which essentially enables Walt Disney World and other landowners to pay for local essential services like water, electricity, fire protection, and emergency medical services instead of taxpayers, and allows the Reedy Creek Improvement District to operate with similar authority to a county government.