By Selwyn Duke
Disney’s claim to fame is creating entertaining fiction. Yet critics might now say the company is living a very unentertaining fiction: that Florida’s parental rights bill is “hateful,” as Joe Biden once put it — but Chinese Uyghur genocide isn’t even worthy of mention.
Fox News recently asked Disney “why it appears they are more vocal in speaking out on the DeSantis-backed bill than the literal genocide going on in China, and if the company would condemn the ethnic cleansing.”
The corporation was silent on that, too, not responding to Fox at all.
The Florida bill, HB 1557, which was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis Monday, has been widely misrepresented. All it dictates, essentially, is that schools “may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students,” as it states on pages 3 and 4.
But while opponents almost universally epitomized the bill’s meaning as “Don’t Say Gay,” Disney’s attitude on China has been “Don’t say nay.” DeSantis spokeswoman Christina Pushaw commented on this double standard in a Friday e-mail to Fox Business. As Fox reports:
“Disney has actively endorsed the CCP’s mistreatment of ethnic and religious minorities,” Pushaw said. “Disney’s live-action film Mulan (2020) was filmed in Xinjiang, with Uyghur internment camps edited out of the background. Disney actually thanked Xinjiang CCP officials (the same communists forcing Uyghurs into gulags) in the credits of the movie….”
“If you look at how these major companies behave when faced with Chinese disapproval, they censor what the CCP tells them to censor and we see groveling apologies,” DeSantis said in a December 2021 press release cited by Pushaw….
DeSantis’ spokeswoman also cited video of the governor’s remarks slamming Disney after the “CEO of Disney called him to express opposition to the Parental Rights in Education bill.”
“You have companies, like a Disney, that are going to say and criticize parents rights — they’re going to criticize the fact that we don’t want transgenderism in kindergarten and first grade classrooms, and that’s the hill they’re going to die on,” DeSantis said. “Then how do they possibly explain lining their pockets with their relationship from the Communist Party of China?”
“Because that’s what they do, and they make a fortune and they don’t say a word about the really brutal practices that you see over there at the hands of the CCP,” the governor added.
Fox also mentioned an open letter by anonymous conservative Disney employees last week complaining that the corporation harbors a hostile work environment for those opposing the “woke” agenda.
DeSantis alluded to how Disney merely reflects a pattern whereby American companies and pseudo-elites pander to China. As to this, we have reported in the past on how Beijing uses de facto bribes and/or market-access-denial threats to censor our movies, put its propaganda in our schools, and bully our businesses into doing its bidding. In particular, the NBA made news for kowtowing to China even as its players took a knee during our National Anthem. Then there was wrestler John Cena getting on his knees before Beijing in issuing an apology (video below) for calling Taiwan a country.
There is an irony here. Our pseudo-elites are afraid to even label Taiwan, which for some 200-plus years was part of China, a country. Yet they not only don’t shrink from thus labeling Ukraine, but act shocked when Moscow bristles at the West arming the nation and entertaining its NATO membership, even though Ukraine was part of Russia for centuries.
Of course, some may point out that China hasn’t yet invaded Taiwan, while Moscow has invaded Ukraine. Yet Beijing did invade and annex Tibet, and has since tried to dominate it culturally and demographically, reportedly killing one million Tibetans and destroying 98 percent of the country’s monasteries and nunneries.
Thus could one ask: Will the West seek to sanction China into oblivion as it has with Russia? Will we send weapons into Tibet? Since this hasn’t happened yet, with Beijing’s occupation in its eighth decade, some may wonder if the Dalai Lama needs acting lessons from Volodymyr Zelensky.
Others may note that Biden has called Vladimir Putin a “pure thug,” a “murderous dictator,” and a “war criminal,” and recently said the Russian president cannot remain in power, escalating a situation that could lead to nuclear war. Yet where is his condemnation of Chinese dictator Xi Jinping?
Is Putin really a worse and more dangerous man than Xi, whose budding empire has taken Tibet, is eyeing Taiwan, seeks to dominate international waters (the South China Sea), and craves world-hegemon status? (This, not to mention that Beijing is now allied with Russia.)
The kicker is that China clamps down on the pseudo-elites’ treasured sexual devolutionary (“LGBTQ+”) agenda in a way American states never could. Last year, Beijing even issued a television ban on “sissy men,” using a term that could get an American politician canceled.
Yet it isn’t this the pseudo-elites complain about, but a North Carolina bill keeping boys out of girls’ bathrooms, an Indiana religious freedom law — and a Florida bill protecting young children from sexualization.
The difference is, many conclude, that economic behemoth China can pay off and punish those who won’t kiss the ring in a way Russia and our states cannot. So, is the pseudo-elites’ value-signaling really about principle — or profit and power?