Jose Castillo, a current Walt Disney Company employee who is running for Congress in Florida as a Republican, told Fox News Digital that Disney’s new political activism may come back to bite the company… in its pocketbook.
Florida legislators have floated the idea of repealing the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act, which gives Disney the autonomy to effectively run its own government in the area around Disney World, in response to the company’s recent advocacy against the parental rights law H.B. 1557, which critics have branded the “Don’t Say Gay” law. Repealing the law would subject Disney World to the government of Orange County.
Castillo warned that, if Disney’s advocacy against the law spurs this repeal, it will hurt the company’s bottom-line, especially if the company continues left-wing advocacy.
“I think that if Disney is going to continue this leftward lurch, and the legislature votes to give Disney the left-leaning policies that they’ve asked for, then they’ll be subject to the tyrannical rule of the mayor of Orange County, which they will soon regret,” Castillo told Fox News Digital. “If Disney falls under Orange County regulations and taxes, I suspect they’ll think twice before pushing for more of them.”
Castillo declined to comment on whether he supports the Reedy Creek Improvement Act, but he did say that as a “free market capitalist,” he opposes “the government giving special advantages to certain companies and individuals. It’s not the government’s job to pick winners and losers.”
“It is also probably in part because of these privileges and the considerable sway that Disney has in Florida that creates the impetus for them to weigh in on issues such as the Parental Rights in Education Bill,” he added.
“It bothers me when I read public statements saying things like ‘we’ believe the bill shouldn’t have been passed,” the employee added. “I’ve been with Disney for 13 years and am proud of my role in the company. When the company uses words like ‘we’ it should mean all of the Cast Members, and right now, that’s not the case.”
Castillo previously told Fox News Digital that a “silent majority” of Disney employees support the law, even the the company has taken a public stance against it after LGBTQ employees protested.
Despite critics branding it a “Don’t Say Gay” bill, H.B. 1557 does not ban the word “gay” in school settings. Neither does it ban casual discussions of topics relating to sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom. It does not require schools to notify parents if their child identifies as gay or transgender.
“Conservative Disney cast members are afraid to speak out because of the company’s very public stance opposing the Parental Rights in Education bill,” he said. “I think that’s a grave miscalculation on Disney’s part because the vocal minority doesn’t speak for the majority of cast members or the majority of Florida parents who don’t want their young children to be taught about sexuality by public school teachers.”
Castillo told Fox News Digital that he believes in the mission of the Walt Disney Company, “but I believe the current trajectory of the company- vowing to repeal this law- is missing the essence and the principles upon which Disney was founded.”