GOP 'zealots' have declared war on Disney -- and it will come back to haunt them: Walt Disney's granddaughter
Fox News screenshot, AFP

In a column for the Washington Post, the granddaughter of Walt Disney claimed that lawmakers helped make the company that shares her name the corporate heavyweight that it has become and that far-right conservative "zealots" in the GOP will regret coming after the entertainment giant.

As Abigail Disney wrote, for decades the Disney Company has been catered to by business-friendly lawmakers to the point where they are now beholden to the company for support when election time rolls around and now they are surprised when the company stakes a stand for human rights that don't concur with the latest culture war du jour.

Central to her argument has been Florida's "Don't Say Gay" law that has pitted Disney executives and their employees against Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R).

"The Walt Disney Co.’s slow and bungled reaction to a new Florida law ostensibly about education — better known as the 'don’t say gay' bill — has left the company my grandfather co-created criticized by all sides. To find its way again, Disney needs to muster the courage to weather the momentary outrage of people who will not be satisfied until they have erased an entire class of human beings," she wrote before adding, "Disney does have special status beyond its place in millions of hearts. Its contributions to politicians on both sides of the aisle have resulted in protections and other boosts to its business model, such as a notoriously long trademark for Mickey Mouse, the licensing of whose image brings in billions."

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Focusing on the Florida brouhaha, she explained, "Disney World in Florida has benefited from its location within a specially created district (an invention I’m not entirely proud of my grandfather for coming up with — much as I adored the man). That entity allows Disney to set its own land-use, environmental and other rules within a specific geographic area."

She went on to note that what the Disney Company has done for decades is just how the corporate/political game is played no matter whether it is right or wrong and now, to the surprise of far-right pro-business Republicans, they are finding the relationship is not the two-way street they had come to believe.

"This time, the far-right-wing political machine appears to have gotten out over its skis. Politicians should be asking whether, come next election cycle, Disney or any other corporation will back them given these threats of arbitrary punishment under a potential Republican administration," she wrote before asking, "Has allowing zealots (and opportunists) to take charge of the right-wing agenda effectively bitten the corporate hand that has fed the right for so long?"

"The world has changed since my grandfather’s day. Corporations looking to occupy neutral ground — including Disney — would do well to admit that there is no longer such a thing," she suggested f before warning, "The only option for corporate leaders is to stand tall for authenticity, generosity, joy and decency. These things are kryptonite for the right-wing agenda. Fortunately, they are also the heart and soul of the Disney brand."

You can read more here.

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