Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) is introducing legislation to take action against the Walt Disney Company.
The “Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022” would strip the company of special copyright protections granted by Congress and place limits on lengths of new copyrights.
“The age of Republican handouts to Big Business is over,” Hawley said in a statement to Fox News.
He added, “Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists. It’s time to take away Disney’s special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation.”
Hawley’s office said Congress has used the “Mickey Mouse Protection Act,” an old law, to “extend copyrights to corporations for up to 120 years,” as Fox News reported.
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) May 10, 2022
Hawley’s legislation comes less than a month after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a law that would eliminate the company’s special self-governing status.
“They have the ability to build a nuclear power plant without state consent if they want,” DeSantis said.
He continued, “No individual or no company in Florida is treated this way, and it’s not right to have this similar treatment but you know they had exercised a lot of power over the years.”
DeSantis received criticism over his move from Joni Madison, interim president of the Human Rights Campaign.
“Governor DeSantis is wielding the power of the state to punish businesses simply for not falling in line with his brutal and discriminatory attacks,” Madison said in a statement.
She added, “It’s simply another example of Gov. DeSantis’s attempts to tell people what to say, how to teach, what they can learn, what they can believe, and who they can be, and shows that Gov. DeSantis is prioritizing attacking LGBTQ+ people over the well-being of his state.”
In March, Disney spoke out against Florida’s Parental Rights In Education bill also known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
The bill places limits on discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom.
Disney CEO Bob Chapek said leaders at the company were opposed to the bill “from the outset, but we chose not to take a public position on it because we thought we could be more effective working behind-the-scenes, engaging directly with lawmakers — on both sides of the aisle.”
Chapek explained the company is now “reassessing our approach to advocacy — including political giving in Florida and beyond.”
Additionally, Chapek said at the time he called DeSantis to “express our disappointment and concern that if the legislation becomes law, it could be used to unfairly target gay, lesbian, non-binary and transgender kids and families.”
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