U.S. Sen. Rick Scott has joined the chorus of Republican lawmakers in Florida who are condemning Disney for its opposition to the state’s new Parental Rights in Education law.
Scott, in an op-ed in the Washington Examiner on Thursday, argued that it was time for Disney to wake up from its woke politics.
Scott, who before entering politics was CEO of America’s largest hospital chain, said he has “never understood businesses that intentionally engage in partisan politics to the point that they effectively attack half of their potential customers.”
“This idea never occurred to me,” he wrote. “It must be some kind of new woke business theory, but it makes no sense.”
The first-term senator noted Disney’s claim to be “the happiest place on Earth.” Now, Scott said, “it’s just woke central.”
“It’s on the losing side of an issue that the majority of families, regardless of political ideology, agree with. In many ways, that makes Disney’s decisions even more confusing,” added Scott.
As evidence, he pointed to public opinion polls that show fewer than 25 percent of Americans share Disney’s “extreme views” about the state law that prohibits school districts and classroom teachers from implementing lesson plans centered on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“The law protects children and protects the rights of parents to shield their very young children from adults who, for some reason, want to talk to their children about gender and sexual matters,” he wrote.
“That makes sense,” Scott said. “Disney is mad that Florida will not allow teachers to talk to 5-year-olds about sex. Florida families couldn’t disagree more.”
“The people of Florida are not extremists or bigots. They do not hate gay people. Our state is a melting pot of cultures, and we embrace that. We’re proud of it,” Scott continued.
“The Florida Legislature passed, and the governor signed, a very commonsense bill that discriminates against no one — except, that is, adults who want to talk to your children about sex.”
“It’s time for companies like Disney to wake up and ignore the Twitter-obsessed social media manager who is driving business strategy. They need to realize that 2022 is the ‘Year of the Parents.’”
”This bill is a big win for parents. We’ve seen this year that parents are refusing to take a back seat to anyone when it comes to their children’s education. That’s good. Democrats still don’t get it, but parents matter,” the senator wrote.
Scott also recalled taking his children and grandchildren to Disney World and said he had “no problem” with the entertainment behemoth when he served as Florida’s governor for eight years.
But Disney’s current course is shameful, Scott said.
The senator also pointed out Disney’s hypocrisy on this issue, noting it conveniently hides its radical pro-LGBT agenda when dealing with foreign countries.
“While Disney tries to lecture us with these extreme views, the mouse is completely unwilling to speak up for freedom and against real oppression in places such as Communist China,” Scott noted.
Specifically, he said Disney has “shamefully” chosen to self-censor in order to appease communist leaders in Beijing. In “Mulan,” Disney thanked “genocidal communist officials” in Xinjiang for help with the film, even though those same officials “were forcing millions of Uyghurs into slave labor.”
“Disney continues to expand its presence in Communist China, even as [Chinese President] Xi Jinping jails his political opponents, keeps up his attacks on democracy in Hong Kong, threatens Taiwan, puts Tibetans into labor camps, and forcibly harvests the organs of Falun Gong practitioners,” Scott wrote.
“So apparently, genocide is tolerable, but demanding that parents have a say in their children’s schooling goes just a bit too far.”
“This is disgusting, but it’s typical,” added Scott, pointing to companies like Nike, Delta, Coca-Cola, the NBA, and others that “adopt woke personas only when they think it doesn’t cost them anything.”
“As long as the money is flowing from Communist China, these companies are happy to turn a blind eye to human rights abuses and real attacks on democracy,” he said.
“Here’s what’s clear,” Scott concluded.
“Parents are smart, and woke businesses are as dumb and hypocritical as ever. Maybe we should thank Disney for showing us who it really is. I’ll tell you one thing — I won’t be going back or watching Disney+ anytime soon, and I bet a lot more parents and grandparents are making that same choice.”