Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz was mocked after he made the bizarre claim Disney cartoons would soon feature "Mickey and Pluto going at it."
Cruz's comments were made in defense of Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" law, which Disney announced it would work to help repeal.
Florida’s Republican-sponsored Parental Rights in Education bill, or H.B. 1557, was recently signed into law by Republican Governor Ron DeSantis. The law, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, aims to “reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children in a specified manner.”
The law wants to prohibit “a school district from encouraging classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a specified manner” and authorizes parents to “bring an action against a school district to obtain a declaratory judgment that a school district procedure or practice violates certain provisions of law.”
You can hear what Cruz, who referred to critics of the law as "misguided," said in the video below.
Speaking on his Verdict with Ted Cruz podcast, 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."
Cruz's remarks sparked considerable backlash from critics who said he was backing discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.
Last month, Disney heir Abigail Disney criticized the corporation amid reports the entertainment company donated to politicians who supported the "Don't Say Gay" bill.
Current Disney Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bob Chapek had not spoken out against the lesgislation, a sharp contrast from former Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger, who retweeted President Joe Biden’s criticism of the “hateful bill.”
Geoff Morrell, a former George W. Bush appointee to the Defense Department who now works as the Disney Corporation's Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, defended Chapek's silence, saying he simply desired both to keep his personal political affiliations private and for the Disney Corporation to remain apolitical.
That defense did not satisfy Disney fans or employees, who criticized the company's stance until the backlash forced the company to pivot.