From the Parental Rights in Education Bill to the Reedy Creek Improvement District and copyright protections, Disney’s name has been in the news quite a bit lately.
Recently, another political figure commented on some things related to Disney and we’ve got all the updates right here for you.
According to Deadline, US President Joe Biden recently made some comments during a Democratic National Committee fundraiser regarding some of the recent political matters Disney has been involved in.
President Biden specifically mentioned Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill (which critics have called the “Don’t Say Gay” bill) and some of the actions taken by the Florida government following Disney’s response to the bill.
For context, as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was being signed into law, Disney released a statement in direct opposition to the bill, indicating that, in their view, it should never have been passed or signed and that their goal would be for the law to be repealed or struck down.
Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, indicated that Disney’s statements went too far, and House Republicans later condemned Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s response to the bill.
Following this, Disney World’s Reedy Creek Improvement District became a much-discussed topic. Reedy Creek is a special district that has let Disney have a great deal of control over its land in Florida and, in many ways, act as its own county. A bill was ultimately introduced and passed by the Florida legislature, and signed into law by the Florida Governor, which will dissolve Reedy Creek in 2023.
A lawsuit was filed regarding the dissolution, which was later dismissed by the judge. But some have noted that there may be some major roadblocks in the way of the dissolution of Reedy Creek.
Biden recently spoke about Disney and some of the recent political issues it has been involved in, putting “the targeting of Disney in context with other efforts in states to ban certain books from school libraries.” (Deadline)
According to Deadline, Biden said “Did you ever think we’d be in a position in the year 2022 – we’d be talking about banning books in schools? … What’s going to happen to a gay child, an L[G]BTQ child in school? I mean, this thing. It’s one thing to take on Disney World. They’re going to storm Cinderella’s castle before this is over. ”
Biden then went on to say “If I told you these things, I think you’d think I was crazy.” Deadline shares that he “then deadpanned, ‘You may think I’m crazy anyway, but…’”
Deadline shares that Disney hasn’t commented on some of the more recent political matters and “No Wall Street analysts raised questions about them on the corporate earnings call on Wednesday afternoon.But, Deadline shares that as campaigns heat up, “a focus on Disney can draw attention.”
The “Don’t Say Gay” Bill and Reedy Creek situations aren’t the only political or legislative matters that have involved Disney lately.
Recently, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley introduced a bill that would impact some of Disney’s copyright protections.
The new legislation would “cap the length of copyrights given corporations by Congress to 56 years and retroactively implement this change on companies, including Walt Disney. ” (Fox News)
According to Deadline, the bill stands “little change of passage and likely would raise constitutional challenges, but Hawley’s focus was on punishing Disney for, in his words, going ‘woke.'”
Disney has also been the subject of some other political / legislative matters. One congressional representative has called for the end of Disney’s no-fly zones, saying that “special interests” have “hijacked” the mandate of the Federal Aviation Administration in the “sheep’s clothing of national security, for commercial gain.”
According to Deadline, “attacks on Disney come as corporations in general, often with pressure from employees, have been more willing to weigh in on divisive social issues… Hawley’s message, and that of a number of other Republicans, is that corporations should stay quiet. ”
We’ve previously shared that how Disney handles large topics in the media and political matters is just one of the areas of the Company that could change in the future. Disney could go a number of routes – choosing to stay out of politics entirely, screening candidates more and being a bit more limiting in who they support, or they might just go back to business as usual. You can click here to see more of our analysis into this issue and what experts have to say.
Recent changes in Disney leadership in their communications department could also signal potential changes moving forward. Only time will tell. We’ll continue to keep an eye out for more news and share those updates with you.
Click here to see when House republicans condemned Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill