Governor Ron DeSantis shows no signs of letting up on Mickey as he continues the discussion around removing the special tax status that Disney has enjoyed since 1967. Florida and Walt Disney Corporation allow Disney to oversee its property as a quasi-governmental agency, building roads and collecting taxes. Their property extends across two counties and 40 square miles. Dissolving the special tax status could leave the company on the hook for millions of dollars per year in local taxes and less autonomy over its property.
In one of the Governor’s less aggressive statements regarding the move, he stated, “It is necessary to review such independent special districts to ensure that they are appropriately serving the public interest.”
Republican state Sen. Jennifer Bradley added that Disney makes “…their own rules.” Other supporters of dissolving the special tax status argue that it’s past time to review these old agreements regardless of the corporation or other political issues in the political landscape.
Democrats have come out in a typically dramatic fashion opposing this review. State Sen. Janet Cruz said, “If this isn’t the grandest form of bullying that I’ve ever seen, I don’t know what is.”
Senator Cruz didn’t read the letter penned by conservative Disney employees regarding their treatment with Disney:
The Walt Disney Company has come to be an increasingly uncomfortable place to work for those of us whose political and religious views are not explicitly progressive. We watch quietly as our beliefs come under attack from our own employer, and we frequently see those who share our opinions condemned as villains by our own leadership.
TWDC leadership frequently communicates its commitment to creating an inclusive workplace where cast members feel comfortable sharing their perspectives and being their authentic selves at work. That is not our workplace experience.
We have watched as our colleagues, convinced that no one in the company could possibly disagree with them, grow increasingly aggressive in their demands. They insist that TWDC take a strong stance on not only this issue but other legislation and openly advocate for the punishment of employees who disagree with them.
Senator Cruz went on to artfully describe, “I have this vision of a mousetrap that we’ve created, and I see us leaning on the neck of the mouse for 12 months, just to step on Mickey’s neck.”
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The argument and, no doubt, truth are the impetus of this review from Disney’s critical stance against the Parental Rights in Educational Bill. Dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by detractors of the bill, the seven pages don’t mention the word gay, let alone anything regarding not saying the word gay.
The bill prohibits teaching sexual orientation or gender ideology to children grades K-3. Additionally, the bill empowers parents to sue school districts over teachings they don’t like and requires schools to tell parents when their child receives mental health services.
In a tweet, Governor DeSantis’ Press Secretary renamed it the “Anti-Grooming Bill.”
Most Americans STILL approve of Florida's anti-grooming law despite the left's smear campaign: pollhttps://t.co/bOdjljpnT2
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) April 19, 2022
The Justice Department describes grooming as a process that:
Fosters a false sense of trust and authority over a child in order to desensitize or break down a child’s resistance to sexual abuse.
Playing By Their Own Rules
An argument can be made that reviewing the tax status for Disney is a way to make sure that youth are protected.
In 2014 CNN reported that 35 employees had been arrested for sex crimes against children after conducting a six-month investigation. In 2019 a Disney cruise “youth host” was arrested for molesting a 10-year-old boy, and another was arrested for raping a girl over 100 times since she was 11.
While that is terrible, what is most concerning is when a cruise ship employee was caught on camera molesting an 11 year old in 2014. The Disney authorities purposely held off reporting the incident until the ship had left port. This allowed him to evade arrest. Disney seems to be unconcerned with the safety of children unless it’s on their actual attractions.
An Incovenient Ally
Disney likes to claim they are an ally to the LGBTQIA+ and BLM community, but only when it suits them on this soil.
Disney recently announced expanding its streaming service across the globe to include 10 anti-gay countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Yemen – all of which outlaw homosexuality. Where is the outrage from the LGBTQIA+ Disney community? I’ll wait for the #dontsaygaycountry hashtag to trend.
The punishment in Saudi Arabia for homosexuals and transgender individuals ranges from fines to chemical castrations to death – not sure which one of those last two is worse.
Additionally, Disney Cruise Lines offers South Caribbean Cruises at $3,870 per person to Antigua, Dominica, and St. Maarten. In Antigua, you can face 15 years in prison for same-sex activity. So same-sex couples may want to re-think honeymooning with Mickey and Minnie.
It seems wokeness only extends to our borders. Fighting for human rights and equality is only crucial in the United States.
Disney has two stores in China and a resort in Shanghai. Although I doubt there is much activity given that its citizens are being forcibly locked in or removed from their homes due to a COVID surge in the region.
In the end credits of the live-action movie Mulan, the Disney Corporation thanked the Chinese government for allowing them to film in their regions. One region was Xinjiang, where Chinese detention centers were built to house Uyghurs.
Don’t limit sexualized content in elementary schools but by all means, round up groups of people based on ethnicity into convenient camps to abuse them and eradicate them from the planet.
Representative Joseph Geller stated, “It’s inexplicable that the Governor would go after the largest employer in the state…” going on to say, “They call Disney the third rail of politics in Florida for a reason.”
I do not doubt that the Governor’s attention to Disney’s tax status results from their inaccurate representation of the Parental Rights in Education bill.
However, I also think the Governor understands what a lot of these ‘woke’ corporations don’t, that the American people are tired of the hypocrisy.
When the loudest voices demand wokeness, corporations are quick to answer the call. Still, when it becomes financially inconvenient, they opt to dial down their allyship in favor of the only color they care about on the Progress Pride Flag…green.
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