In remarks at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Wednesday, Biden took aim at “maga Republicans” as he and other Democrats try to focus on the extreme wing of the rival party.
The president cited Florida’s new parental rights law — which opponents have dubbed a “don’t say gay” bill — that bars K-3 teachers from classroom instruction of sexual orientation or gender identity. After The Walt Disney Company announced opposition to the law, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis led an effort to remove Walt Disney World from a special tax district that allowed the company to self-govern on things like land use and infrastructure. Is allowed.
Biden, however, placed the targeting of Disney in the context of other efforts to ban certain books from school libraries in the states.
“Did you ever think we’ll be in a position in the year 2022 – we’ll be talking about banning books in schools? …what’s going to happen to a gay kid, a L[G]BTQ kid in school? I mean, this thing. It’s one thing to take on Disney World. They’ll raid Cinderella’s palace before it’s over.”
“If I told you these things, I think you’d think I was crazy,” Biden said. Then he said, “You might think I’m crazy anyway, but…”
Disney has not commented on the GOP attacks and, perhaps as a measure of their impact (or lack of impact) on the company’s bottom line, any Wall Street analysts spoke about them on Wednesday afternoon’s corporate earnings call. Didn’t raise questions.
But as midterm campaigns heat up, and Republican contenders look to the 2024 presidential race, attention may be turning on Disney. The same happened this week when Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) introduced legislation that would reverse Disney’s copyright protections.
In contrast to DeSantis’ attempt to approve Disney in Florida, Hawley’s bill stands Less chance and likelihood of passage will raise constitutional challenges, but Hawley’s focus was on punishing Disney for, in her words, “waking up,” even if it was an attack on the private sector. “As Disney doubles down on its hostility to American values, it’s time to start rolling back those protections,” Hawley wrote in an op ed for Foxnews.com.
This is in contrast to how Ronald Reagan saw the company. A year after leaving office, Reagan appeared on the 35th anniversary of Disneyland and praised the theme park for exemplifying “the essence of the American spirit”. Even Hawley acknowledged that Republicans were “apparently business-friendly”.
Attacks on Disney come as corporations in general, often with pressure from employees, are more willing to weigh in on divisive social issues. When it comes to LGBTQ rights, the threat of corporate boycotts helped prevent the enactment of a more difficult religious freedom bill in Indiana in 2015 and persuaded the Republican governor of Georgia to veto a religious freedom bill in 2016. helped in
The Supreme Court’s likely Roe v. Wade, the pressure on companies to speak up or take mitigating action could be even greater as waves of states ban or pass abortion bans. Hawley’s message, and that of many other Republicans, is that corporations should keep quiet.