Florida Republican lawmakers followed Governor Ron DeSantis threatens strip Disney of its special autonomous status in the state, passing Senate Bill 4-C on party lines as part of their assault against the company for opposing “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. Pundits and conservative media personalities celebrated DeSantis “destroying Disney,” declaring SB 4-C, which could potentially cost taxpayers in the state $1 billion, was the result of the company “completely hewn[ing] to the demands of the waking universe.
The measure was sign signed into law by DeSantis on Friday, with DeSantis saying he was “uncomfortable with this type of agenda getting special treatment” in Florida. It will eliminate special tax districts in the state established before 1968 — a designation limited only to the district in which Disney World has operated since 1967. Before 2022, Republicans did not oppose tax incentives for Disney in Florida, with DeSantis approving more than half a billion dollars in tax breaks for the company. This changed following the company’s eventual opposition to the Republican Party conduct eliminate discussion of LGBTQ topics from public education.
Some journalists have noticed the apparent hypocrisy of the Republicans – a party historically associated with business interests that regularly come out as pro-free speech – attacking a company for taking a stance on civil liberties. Appearing on CNN, Business Insider’s Linette Lopez remarked that this “punitive punishment for Disney disagreeing with Ron Desantis” shows “the GOP is changing its tune” on issues once central to its identity.
In reacting to the death of SB 4-C, media and right-wing figures have blamed this latest escalation on Disney, a company that listens his employees by standing for LGBTQ youth, rather than the party determined to escalate its feud with one of largest employers. The same commentators continued their anti-trans and homophobic campaign by calling proponents of LGBTQ inclusion in education and the media “groomers,” falsely claiming that Disney and its supporters believe “kids should learn the changes gender and gender fluidity at age 8. .” the vague wording Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law means it could apply to teachers and students well beyond the age of 8.
- On Fox News’ Jessie Watters Primetime, guest host Brian Kilmeade claimed that Disney had a “problem” with DeSantis because he “doesn’t think kids should be learning about gender reassignments and gender fluidity at school.” 8 years old”. Watters said DeSantis was “not backing down” and Florida was “retaliating even stronger” by stripping Disney of its special status, calling it “a blow to the business.”
- Later in the show, right-wing radio host Clay Travis said that Disney had “just completely cut[ed] to the demands of the waking universe” in opposing the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, adding that “there is no reason for them to be sexual orientation trained or to teach it.” Travis said DeSantis “is going to punch you, Disney, and you’re going to have to accept it.”