One-on-one with Jackie Toledo: Congressional candidate discusses Disney programming

The Tampa Bay area gained an open U.S. House seat this year through redistricting. The 15th U.S. House District straddles East Hillsborough and West Polk counties, and leans Republican. Five Republican candidates are competing for the nomination, and we’ve invited all of them to FOX 13 for one-on-one interviews. 

Jackie Toledo is a state lawmaker, engineer and small business owner. She is branding her congressional campaign as a "mom on a mission" to fight what she calls "woke indoctrination" in public schools, and "big-government mandates."

In our interview with FOX 13 Political Editor Craig Patrick, she said President Biden is the legitimately elected President of the United States (she said "unfortunately"), and that she supports the continued exportation of U.S. petroleum. 

"We definitely need to use our domestic supply and resources that we have in our country, and we need to sell that and export that. So I would vote to allow for the exportation of our resources," Toledo said.  

Toledo said she would support legislation protecting and codifying same-sex marriage into federal law. If China invades Taiwan, she said she would not want to send U.S. troops to defend it. 

"I have a son in the military, so I would not want to use our troops," she said. "I would like to send resources there, but not our troops. I wouldn't want to send our troops there."

Toledo was undecided on whether to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. She strongly opposes some of Disney’s programming for children and said she would take action to restrict it. 

Here are excerpts from that part of the interview:

Section 230

Craig Patrick: "What about the false claims that we see on social media? Would you support or oppose efforts to repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act?" 

Jackie Toledo: "That allows for these false ads?" 

Craig Patrick: "That's part of it, yes." 

Jackie Toledo: "Yeah. I think that what's happening in politics these days is, you see, you're seeing a lot of dark money in these races and there's no transparency. You don't know who's funding these candidates, whether you have Soros on the left funding... People want to know who is funding the candidates. And I think we need more transparency in laws and in our campaigns." 

Craig Patrick: "Section 230 specifically has what's called the Good Samaritan clause, which requires that the site operators moderate content and remove stuff they deem harmful. And if they make a good faith effort, they can't be sued for what they take off the sites or for the content they keep on the sites. That provision, should that stay or go? 

Jackie Toledo: "I mean, you want to protect good Samaritans. So I would have to look into that a little bit further just to see the implications and how it's been used in the past." 

Disney’s programming 

Craig Patrick: "With respect to Disney, you have strong qualms. You've specifically stated you ‘believe Disney has been a beacon of family values, but has been perverted by a woke mob of liberal extremists.’ We can delve into that in a moment, but let's cut to the chase. Given your views in that respect, would you support, advance or sponsor legislation if elected to Congress that would restrict the content that Disney could produce for young audiences and air on public airwaves or otherwise?" 

Jackie Toledo: "Absolutely. What's happening with Disney and corporations, woke corporations trying to indoctrinate our children. We have trust in these organizations like, you know, cartoons that they are not trying to pervert to our children. And what we're seeing is the content that we don't look at as parents every single day, all the different cartoons and shows that they have now, we're exposed to what they're really trying to do, which is indoctrinate and change the values of our children." 

Craig Patrick: "And give us an example for context, so our viewers can understand an example of something you find particularly offensive." 

Jackie Toledo: "So the Muppets, for example, I grew up watching the Muppets, and I don't remember Gonzo being a transgender. And now you have Gonzo as a transgender, as this is normal and this is even acceptable and encouraging. And I find that offensive as a parent because, you know, young kids are watching this, and they are looking at it like perhaps I'm like Gonzo, but they're too young to know." 

Craig Patrick: "What's the time frame in which you say Disney was a beacon of family values, in which there was nothing that offended you to the point in which there is plenty that offends you. Several years ago, decades ago. Where do you draw the line?" 

Jackie Toledo: "I would say years ago. I loved Disney." 

Craig Patrick: "And nothing offended you?" 

Jackie Toledo: "Nothing offended me. I grew up going to Disney in California and then in Florida. It didn't offend me. I think it was magical. It was a fantasyland. Like it was based on, you know, just believe in yourself type of concepts. And then you started seeing the shift where maybe they would have the pride parades, which, you know, it was a day, and then it became a month and then, you know, it was in your face. And I think that's when it started to shift as this beacon of family values, this, you know, a place where most people want to vacation. Most people want to come to Florida to see Disney or to come to Disney…" 

Craig Patrick: "But those days in which you say nothing offended you at all, and it was a beacon of family values, would have included the Song of the South, which had the cheerful depiction of Uncle Remus, an African-American on a southern plantation. You had the Siamese cats as depicted in Lady and the Tramp. You had the native peoples as depicted in Peter Pan. I could keep going. How is that less offensive to you than the depiction of a puppet in a dress?" 

Jackie Toledo: "So I think when, for example, what you were saying is that I was young, so I didn't know the meaning behind that. The meaning behind a Muppet in a dress is targeted towards our youth. I don't think that an average three-year-old or four-year-old is going to understand the meaning of the songs that you're referring to."

Craig Patrick: "But in the hindsight of adulthood, does it offend you today?" 

Jackie Toledo: "Yes. And that's what I said. It was years ago. It wasn't decades ago. I mean, I'm 46 years old. You know, my children are aged ages from 11 to 22 years old. So we've been going to Disney for with them for 20 years. And you just started slowly seeing the woke left in infiltrating Disney. And that's where I started to become more aware. But recently it was they took a position against parental rights, and that's where I drew the line." 

Craig Patrick: "So let's bring it full circle. As a congresswoman, what specifically would you do in terms of legislation to restrict what Disney produces on public airwaves?" 

Jackie Toledo: "Well, I do believe that is a states’ issue, that what we have done with Disney, by taking away their special privileges for self-governance, that was something that we could do. But as far as communications to our children, I think we should look closely at what we can do to prohibit that type of material."