In the past month and a half, the Walt Disney Company has managed to anger people on both sides of the aisle over its handling of Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education Bill. One side felt that Disney did not speak out against the bill fast enough, which led to protests and walkouts from the company’s own employees. Then, on the other side, you had those — including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis — who thought that Disney should stay out of politics — aside from its political donations.
Despite Disney’s outcry, Governor DeSantis signed the bill into law, with Disney, in turn, pausing all political donations in the state. Disney’s constant denunciation of the bill caused many on the right to declare that Disney was supportive of “grooming”. There have been protests outside of Walt Disney World, and conservative media company The Daily Wire announced that they would be putting more than $100 million into creating children’s programming to battle Disney.
Now, Texas Senator Ted Cruz is giving his two cents. Cruz has a podcast called Verdict, and he recently spoke about Disney and its stance on a law that he fully supports. Cruz said that Disney being against this law would lead to them basically creating pornography. Cruz said:
“I think there are people who are misguided, trying to drive Disney stepping in saying, you know, in every episode now they’re going to have, you know, Mickey and Pluto going at it…But it’s just like, come on, guys, these are kids and, you know, you could always shift to Cinemax if you want that. Like, I’m a dad, it used to be that you could put your kids on the Disney channel and be like, all right, something innocuous will happen.”
For those who may not understand the Cinemax reference, Cinemax is a premium cable station that would show adults-only programming at night. Cruz seems to believe that supporting the LGBTQ+ community in its stance against the bill, Disney is also supporting pornography and is interested in creating it. Disney has never indicated such a belief.
Critics were quick to condemn and mock Cruz for his odd stance on Disney’s support of the gay community. Some said that Cruz was “obsessed” with people’s sex lives, and others called his comparison “shameless.” A retired former Senior Executive at NBCUniversal said that Cruz and the “far-right’s” battle against Disney have gone into “overdrive”.