A number of Republican lawmakers have signaled that they could stop Disney from renewing the copyright to an iconic Mickey Mouse cartoon as punishment for the company’s stance on Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Rep. Jim Banks, chairman of the Republican Study Committee, is distributing a letter to the GOP caucus telling Disney CEO Bob Chapek of his intention to oppose any future extension of Disney copyrights, National review reports.
Disney’s rights to his steamer Willie Mickey Mouse, first seen in a 1928 short film, will expire on January 1, 2024, although more recent images remain protected by separate copyrights.
Mr. Banks writes that Disney’s opposition to parental rights legislation in education shows that it has capitulated to “far-left activists through hypocritical, wakeful corporate actions,” accusing them of “kowtowing” at China.
“It’s unfortunate that Disney, once a US success story, has allied with a hostile foreign regime and domestic ideologues who want to tear our country apart,” writes Mr. Banks of Indiana.
Fellow far-right Congressman Jim Jordan from Ohio told: National review he supported the move to block Disney’s copyrights.
“Disney used to be an inspiration to all American families, but it now seems to be giving in to the awake crowd,” he told the conservative publication.
Republicans also prefer to retake the House and Senate in the midterm elections in November as President Joe Biden’s approval score remains under water.
Jordan is the most senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, which would oversee new copyright laws.
the independent has approached Disney for comment.
Disney has come under fire from Republicans for opposing the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bans educators in Florida from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity. Defenders of the bill emphasize how it targets students from kindergarten through third grade, but the bill includes broader language that affects students in all grades.
Republican lawmakers in Florida are debating whether to revoke a decades-old agreement with the Walt Disney Company that would allow Disney to effectively regulate the district in which its parks and properties operate.
Disney lobbyists played a major role in enacting the Copyright Act of 1976 and the Copyright Term Extension Act in 1998 to seek protection for their intellectual property.