Mickey’s Kingdom Caught in Florida’s Culture War

A Disney World employee will wear a symbol of support for the LGBTQ+ community on his t-shirt on March 22, 2022 in Orlando, Florida.


Disney is on a tightrope between Florida and California. The entertainment giant hoped to stay out of the culture war raging in the Sunshine State over issues of sexual orientation in school curricula. Pious wish. The animated film pioneer is threatened by elected Republicans to revoke control of his downtown stronghold Orlando, where Disney World is located. A few months before the midterm elections, the Conservatives are not about to miss the opportunity to wave the culture war banner. There’s no doubt that a multinational corporation is “waking up” to impose Hollywood’s “values” on American parentsstruck Governor Ron DeSantis. Florida will by no means “led by California executives”.

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What has Disney done to earn the reprisals from elected officials who have largely benefited from his generosity ($50 million in contributions to their election campaigns over twenty-five years, twice as much as Democrats)? The company publicly disapproved of the bill signed by the governor on March 28. Nicknamed “Don’t say gay” by progressives, it forbids teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in public elementary schools. The text only concerns very young children, but is considered a measure of intimidation against educators. What happens when a child talks about his two fathers at school and a discussion ensues? The teacher could be prosecuted if he launches a statement that is not “not suitable for age or development” of the schoolboy – a subjective concept if there ever was one.

Also read: Florida: Passes Law Banning Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Education in Schools

“I disappointed you; My apologies”

At first, Disney’s new CEO Bob Chapek — he’s only been in charge since January — thought he’d get away with being inconspicuous. His goal, he explained in a memo to staff, was to prevent Disney from turning into a… political football. And, according to him, the characters created by Disney “do more” that company releases for “to change the mindset”† In 2019, his predecessor, Bob Iger, revered in Hollywood for the acquisition of Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilms, had made the opposite choice. When Georgia had tried to curtail the right to abortion, he had let it be known that Marvel could hardly continue to organize its productions there.

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