Why Special Treatment for The Mouse?
Does a company worth $130 billion need special treatment? Is there any aspect of our entertainment culture that Disney does not already influence—and in some cases dominate?
The Verge reports that “Florida is on the verge of passing legislation that would fine social media companies like Twitter and Facebook that ‘knowingly de-platform’ political candidates.” Sounds great, right? After all, free speech is one topic all Americans should stand behind—democrat, republican, libertarian, etc.
But as seems to always happen in our society today, corporate America’s wishes take precedence with our government officials. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ “get tough on big tech” proposed bill is no different, as it contains a Florida-exemption for any “information service, system, internet search engine, or access software provider operated by a company that owns and operates” a theme park or entertainment complex.
Meaning that while other social media platforms that de-platform political candidates for more than 60 days are punished with daily fees of $25,000 per day for banning a political candidate and $250,000 a day if the politician was running for election, Disney Plus is exempt from those restrictions.
Hmmm. I wonder why that exemption was included? Could it have anything to do with this item from Smart Asset: “According to a 2011 report, ‘The $18.2 billion in annual economic activity generated locally by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts accounts for 2.5 percent of Florida’s gross domestic product.’”
You could argue that Governor DeSantis’ bill is merely a way to support former President Donald Trump who has been de-platformed by numerous social media outlets. Perhaps. But does that matter? Isn’t the bigger issue the suffocating influence of corporate America on the daily lives of Americans? Why must big business and government become intertwined in every decision made today?
Florida Republicans say the measure is intended to protect the free speech rights of FL residents. It would be a lot easier to believe that explanation if Mickey Mouse were held to the same standard as everyone else.