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Tipsheet

Woke Disney Continues to Step In It with Reaction to Florida's Parental Rights in Education Bill

AP Photo/Richard Drew, File

Earlier this week, the Florida Senate passed HB 1557, a bill on Parental Rights in Education, which critics have dubbed the "Don't Say Gay" bill, when it's really about ensuring that young children are not subject to material that is not appropriate for their age group. 

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When it comes to sexual orientation, the bill notes the following: "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."

A myth vs. fact blog article from Heritage Action for America noted that, with original emphasis:

Florida parents have the right to be aware of and involved in crucial decisions regarding their children. Parents have the responsibility to ensure their children’s wellbeing — they do not lose their rights or responsibilities when they enroll their children in public school. Additionally, public schools do not have the right to teach inappropriate sexual content to children as young as five.

While the media and Left-wing advocacy groups have spread misinformation surrounding this bill, it is a common-sense measure that all parents should support. The bill would restore the rights of millions of parents and restore classrooms to their proper mission: education, not indoctrination.

The bill drew strong opinions, many of them misinformed. DeSantis tweeted out a video calling out the media's false narrative on Friday morning.

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This included strong, albeit for some delayed, reactions from Disney. Julio covered the initial reactions from Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who claimed it "didn't quite get the job done," and went on to speak with DeSantis. As Katie covered, DeSantis took the call from Chapek, and firmly said no when it comes to Chapek's request to veto the bill.

After being caught up in what was surely a political headache, Disney announced it was pausing all political donations. As Erich Schwartzel aptly put it for The Wall Street Journal "Disney CEO Tried to Avoid Politics, Now Finds Himself in Middle of Partisan Spat." 

Chapek sent a memo to the company which included pledges to the LGBT community. "I am committed to this work and to you all, and will continue to engage with the LGBTQ+ community so that I can become a better ally. You will hear more about our progress in the coming weeks," the memo read at one point.

Our friends at Twitchy highlighted reactions to the memo shared by State Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, whose social media posts also include aTikTok video of Florida House members saying the word "gay," being just one of many people to react to the bill in such an immature way. 

Disney World is based in Florida, and the company has donated to some of the bill's sponsors. 

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As Schwartzel wrote:

Disney employs tens of thousands of Floridians, primarily at Walt Disney World. Last year, it announced plans to move more of its southern California-based workforce to the state, which had offered generous tax breaks for the job relocations. 

The company’s political giving in Florida has included donations to politicians who supported the controversial Parental Rights in Education bill, which passed the Florida Senate on Tuesday. 

...

Mr. Chapek’s update at the Wednesday shareholder meeting—his first without Mr. [Robert] Iger—only drew more criticism and overshadowed other updates on company business from the event. Mr. Chapek had announced Disney would pledge $5 million to LGBT causes—but then later that day, Human Rights Campaign, a prominent LGBT civil rights organization, said it would refuse any Disney donation “until we see them build on their public commitment.”

Still, it wasn't enough for liberals who were less than pleased that Disney was pausing all donations. 

And while and others may speak to a pledge to "engage with the LGBTQ+ community," it's worth wondering if he knows that such a group assisted in crafting the bill. 

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Log Cabin Republicans, "the nation’s largest Republican organization dedicated to representing LGBT conservatives and allies," was involved in the bill.

A statement from Log Cabin Republicans Charles Moran in part mentioned that the group "is proud to have supported this bill and worked with our partners in the state legislature to get it over the finish line."

The group's Twitter account has continued to speak in favor of HB 1557 and against false narratives on it.

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