Gay hiking

Don’t Say Gay Bill: Disney is Fighting a Losing Battle

Disney employees protest Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Glendale, California on March 22, 2022. (Ringo Chiu/Reuters)

On the menu today: Disney continues its ineffective effort to stop Florida from enforcing its ban on discussing sex with young children and Republicans continue to debate whether they will vote for the Supreme Court confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson .

Disney’s Anti-Florida Campaign Continues

There’s no doubt about it: Disney was caught behind the eight ball. The company should have known that a number of its most vocal employees would be outraged by Florida’s new law prohibiting discussing sexual matters with children in kindergarten through third grade. From the account of these woke employees – who have been trumpeting the media-fueled misnomer “Don’t Say Gay” through megaphones over the past two weeks – Disney has not used its considerable influence in the state to bring the legislation to its knees while he could still be arrested.

Perhaps to save face after Gov. Ron DeSantis basically told the company to take a hike repeatedly, Disney recently tried to claim that its lobbyists had been working to block the bill behind the scenes ever since. the beginning. In a statement shortly after beginning to face criticism for the company’s supposed inaction, Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained that executives “believe we could be more effective working in the behind the scenes, engaging directly with lawmakers – on both sides of the aisle.” Our own Isaac Schorr reports that Disney doesn’t actually seem to have lobbied on this:

At a press conference on Tuesday, DeSantis cast doubt on Chapek’s version of events, noting that Chris Sprows, the Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives, had never even heard of Disney while the project. law was progressing through the legislative process.

Sprows confirmed this in an interview with National exam. Even though the company was supposedly working to effectively push back the legislation, it never picked up the phone to speak with the most powerful member of the House.

Additionally, Sprows pointed out, there is no record of a lobbyist working on behalf of Disney ever lobbying a member of the Florida House on the bill.

“We checked the action packages for the House Education and Employment Committee hearings, the Judiciary and the Senate where HB 1557 was considered,” Sprows said. “The Walt Disney Corporation did not submit any bill appearance cards for any of these meetings. Additionally, the Florida House requires lobbyists to identify the bills they lobby and no Disney lobbyists is recorded on HB 1557.”

The register says Disney had at least 19 different representatives lobbying House members on a number of different pieces of legislation in 2021, including the Big Tech bill from which it won an exemption. There is no record of any registered lobbyist arguing against HB 1557 for the company.

Chapek and Disney are therefore back to square one, struggling with employees who insist that the company do something now. One such concession to wokeism seems to be preparing to cram sexualized content into children’s programming. “If we can’t have them in class, we’ll have them in the cinema”, or something like that.

In several leaked videos, Disney executives pledged to portray more “transgender and gender-nonconforming” characters in their films — or “queer leads,” as one superior put it. Along the same lines, they aim to erase all references to “ladies and gentlemen” and “boys and girls” in the Disney parks.

In short, the company finds itself engaged in a game that it simply cannot win. On the one hand, a number of its own employees – we don’t even know if it’s a majority or just a very vocal faction – chastising the company for not “doing enough” to stop this law, as if Disney had been elected to run the State of Florida. On the other side is the government of Florida, its vocal governor who is impervious to bullies and – important to note – a no small part of his customers.

It’s hard to imagine that while a number of parents oppose Florida’s legislation, most parents hope Disney’s children’s films will respond to the law by featuring more sexual themes and ” queer tracks”. What’s more, polls suggest that most American parents don’t oppose the Florida law at all. When presented with the actual text of the legislation — instead of just being told about it by the pollster — 61% of Americans say they support it.

But that doesn’t seem relevant to Disney executives, who intend to signal their virtue into oblivion. Even the company’s former CEO, Bob Iger, felt the need to double down on the company’s position in an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace.

“A lot of these issues aren’t necessarily political,” Iger said. “It’s a matter of right and wrong. For me, it was not politics. It was right and wrong, and it just felt wrong. It seemed potentially harmful to children.

Iger added that CEOs should be willing to accept “that they’re going to have to weigh in on issues, even if voicing an opinion on those issues potentially puts part of your business at risk.” . . . Again, when you’re dealing with good and bad, or when you’re dealing with something that has a profound impact on your business, I just think you should do the right thing and not worry about the potential backlash , for this.”

Leave aside the stupidity of the idea that Disney has a moral obligation to bully lawmakers and the governor of Florida into adopting the company’s favored social agenda. Focus on what Iger says — and what Chapek and Disney also said — about the law itself. It is a law, again, that prohibits teaching sexual subjects such as “gender identity” to children aged four and nine. Despite all their chatter, not a single Disney executive has attempted to explain precisely what is so “harmful” and “immoral” about this.

Republicans weigh their votes on Jackson’s nomination

Earlier this week, Senator Susan Collins of Maine became the first Republican senator to say she will vote to confirm Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court. Collins said she decided to vote that way because she believed Jackson would “not bend the law to suit a personal preference.”

“In recent years, senators on both sides of the aisle have drifted away from what I perceive to be the proper process for evaluating judicial candidates,” Collins said in announcing how she will vote. “In my opinion, the role assigned to the Senate under the Constitution is to examine the qualifications, experience and qualifications of the candidate. It is not about assessing whether a candidate reflects a senator’s individual ideology or would vote exactly as a senator would like.

So far, most other Republicans have said they would refuse to vote for Jackson, in many cases citing disagreements with his judicial philosophy. Although Jackson said during her confirmation hearing that she thought “it is appropriate to examine the original intent, the original public meaning of the words”, she does not describe herself as an originalist or a textualist, and she seems to have a much broader vision. view of the judiciary. That appears to be the driving force behind some Republicans’ decision to oppose his nomination.

Sen. Ben Sasse (R., Neb.) noted that Jackson “has refused to claim originality as her judicial philosophy” and instead seems to believe it’s “just one of the tools judges use. – not a real constraint on the judiciary.”

North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis praised Jackson’s “knowledge, composure and character”, but also said he would vote against her: “I still want her to be able to legislate since the bench instead of consistently following the Constitution as written.” Tillis also noted that Jackson refused to condemn the idea of ​​expanding the size of the Supreme Court, a common complaint among Republicans, despite the fact that Jackson can’t do much about it as a judge.

According to a New York Times report, the White House had hoped Republican Senators Richard Burr of North Carolina and Roy Blunt of Missouri might vote to confirm Jackson, but neither will. (Burr cited his concern that Jackson gave “unsatisfactory” answers regarding the possibility of a short.) That leaves only two potential Republican “yes” votes besides Collins — Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski and Utah Senator Mitt Romney of Utah:

Mr Romney met with the judge on Tuesday but said he had not made up his mind and was unlikely to reveal his decision until the vote, now expected next week. He said Ms Collins’ announcement would not figure in his mind.

“I make the decision based on my own analysis and assessment,” he said.

Ms Murkowski, who is running for re-election this year in what is expected to be the most expensive and difficult contest of her career, also may not announce her decision until next week. Though she backed more Biden administration lower-court judicial nominees than many of her colleagues — including Judge Jackson for her current appeals court spot — she voted against both justices, former President Barack Obama appointed to the Supreme Court.

The Senate will vote on Jackson’s nomination on Monday, and Romney said he plans not to announce how he will vote until then.

ADDENDUM: Earlier this week, I participated in a debate at Notre Dame against feminist writer Jill Filipovic, debating whether women need legal abortion to be free and equal. I got backlash from pro-lifers who insisted that abortion “shouldn’t be up for debate”, so I wrote an article here at NRO about the why I think these kinds of debates are important. You can watch the debate here, if you’re interested.