Rev. Franklin Graham hit out at the Walt Disney Company in support of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, saying that LGBTQ+ activists are guilty of "using corporations to force their agenda on the public."
He added that he believes the company has failed its founder, Walt Disney, and that the company is no longer promoting wholesome family values.
What are the details?
In a now-viral Facebook post, Graham — pastor and CEO of Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association — said that the Walt Disney Company is trying to "flaunt sin."
The post, which has been shared more than 10,000 times at the time of this reporting, read, "LGBTQ activists are using corporations to force their agenda on the public, and companies may want to take another look at what they are allowing to happen."
"Disney," Graham insisted, "has gone too far. The people of Florida have revolted, and it’s going to cost Disney big time. Disney had a special tax status in the state which they benefitted from in a huge way — but because they came out against the parents of Florida, the governor and legislators have revoked that status."
He continued, calling the company's move a "moral failure."
"Walt Disney had a vision for wholesome family entertainment," Graham added. "He was committed to the family. The morals of the corporate leadership of Disney today are in the gutter, and they want to redefine family counter to God’s original design and flaunt sin."
The pastor added that his support and gratitude remains with DeSantis.
"Thank God for Governor Ron DeSantis who is willing to take a bold stand," he insisted. "We need more leaders like him. God bless him and the Florida legislature."
In a statement, Graham told Newsweek that he is disappointed at how far he believes Disney has fallen.
"My father was friends with Walt Disney and took me to meet him when I was a child. He signed a photo for me, and I have it hanging on the wall in my office. The hour-long program, Walt Disney Presents, that came on every Sunday night was one of the few things as kids that we were allowed to watch on television," Graham told the outlet. "I have always appreciated how Walt Disney offered wholesome family entertainment for millions of families around the world. Those family values are what made Disney such a wealthy and loved company."
He added, "It's incredible how far Disney has fallen morally from its founder. I'm glad Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is standing for what's right, and I hope Christians will continue to pray for the governor and support him."
DeSantis' spokesperson Christina Pushaw also told the outlet that the administration appreciates Graham's remarks.
"We appreciate the message of support from Rev. Franklin Graham and other Americans who are disappointed that Disney has evidently forgotten the reason for its success — 'wholesome family entertainment,'" Pushaw stated. "Given this context, it is especially surprising that Disney would declare war on parental rights in Florida. Governor DeSantis will continue doing what's right for Floridians, and that includes standing up for parents' rights, child protection, and a more even playing field for businesses."