DeSantis Counters Criticism of His Fight with Disney

DeSantis Counters Criticism of His Fight with Disney

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
June 5, 2023

As the 2024 Republican primary continues, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) addressed criticism from the other contenders on his war with Disney. In an interview on the Brian Kilmeade Show, Gov. DeSantis spoke of how he intends "to fight the sexualization of minors," and how "You can’t just be a lackey for corporate America … The days of Republicans just deferring to large corporations need to be OVER."

In the interview, Gov. DeSantis said the other GOP contenders for 2024 "basically sided with Disney" against him, adding that his confrontations with those seeking to sexualize children will draw him support.

"As a parent of three young kids, we are going to fight the sexualization of minors and children. We're going to fight anybody that's trying to rob them of their innocence, and we're not going to compromise whether that's standing up to a big 800-pound gorilla like Disney or anybody else; We're going to stand with the children. I think our voters want to see that," said DeSantis.

Additionally, DeSantis stated Republicans must be willing to interfere with businesses that push ideological agendas, something he has proven himself as doing.

"There's also the other issue of, as Republicans, you can't just be a lackey for corporate America. You've got to be willing to stand up for individual taxpayers, you've got to be willing to stand up for small businesses. So the days of Republicans just deferring to large corporations need to be over. Not all these other Republicans are willing to do that, but I think with me and what we've been able to do by fighting woke corporations, kneecapping [environmental social governance] in Florida. We're willing to stand up to these people because I think they're trying to pursue an agenda that's not in the best interest of our country," DeSantis concluded.

Mid-April, DeSantis' biggest rival, former President Donald Trumpspoke of DeSantis being "absolutely destroyed" by Disney.

"DeSanctus is being absolutely destroyed by Disney. His original P.R. plan fizzled, so now he’s going back with a new one in order to save face," said Trump.

Later that month, Governor Nikki Haley (R-SC) offered South Carolina as a place for Disney to relocate, saying she would be "happy" to have the Mouse provide jobs in her state.

"Hey @Disney, my home state will happily accept your 70,000+ jobs if you want to leave Florida. We’ve got great weather, great people, and it’s always a great day in South Carolina! SC’s not woke, but we’re not sanctimonious about it either," Gov. Haley tweeted.

Shortly after at the beginning of May, other GOP contender Vivek Ramaswamy criticized Gov. DeSantis for signing Florida Senate Bill 7072, which prohibited viewpoint discrimination online, but Disney successfully lobbied to exempt its streaming service, and by extension, itself, from the bill.

"In 2021 Florida passed a strong anti-woke law that stopped companies from engaging in viewpoint discrimination online. But Disney lobbied & won a special exemption from the law before @RonDeSantisFL signed it. It’s hard to fight against wokeism if you’re practicing cronyism for woke companies," Ramaswamy stated.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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