Florida Gov. and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis says Walt Disney Co. employees back him and not “‘woke’ executives,” and he points to the 2022 election results to somehow prove his assertion.
During a return engagement on the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, the Florida Governor contended rank-and-file Disney workers are with him and not “‘woke’ executives,” comments he bases on the 2022 election.
“The sad part about it guys is, when we were having this fight with Disney in 2022, most of the employees in their Orlando area theme parks agreed with us,” DeSantis said during a return engagement on the Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show.
“I won Osceola County for the first time a Republican has done in a generation by 7 (percentage points), which is where the majority of Disney employees live,” he added.
As Florida Politics notes: “It’s unclear how he extrapolated the Disney workers from the more than 400,000 residents of the county, which includes more than 247,000 registered voters. But he continued the analysis anyway.”
“This is really a cadre of ‘woke’ executives in Burbank trying to impose this agenda down on the rest of the company. I think it’s been catastrophic,” DeSantis said.
Asked what advice he would give the company, DeSantis urged it to get closer to the original values of Walt Disney rather than “woke” Disney.
“It’s in the best interest of Disney shareholders that they get refocused on their previous core mission and get the ‘woke’ out of there. And it goes beyond when you start talking about kids because some of the ‘woke’ in society is kind of annoying and, you know, sometimes you just kind of roll your eyes when you start talking about our kids,” DeSantis advised.
DeSantis’ feud with Disney began after the entertainment giant spoke out last March against a controversial piece of legislation critics have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill. The Parental Rights in Education Act was signed in March 2022 and restricts classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in Florida’s K-3 public schools. Florida’s Board of Education voted on Wednesday to expand that law to cover grades four to 12.
In response to Disney’s criticism, DeSantis called to remove Disney World’s self-governing status, which allowed the company to call much of its own shots for the past six decades, and has helped the company expand with less friction to the 25,000-acre theme-park resort it is today.
Disney initially refrained from taking a public stance on the issue until after employees and critics demanded the company denounce the bill.