At the Tony Awards on Sunday night, Denée Benton, a former Tony Award nominee, resorted to tired Broadway theatrics by comparing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to a Ku Klux Klan leader. Benton, who currently stars in HBO’s “Gilded Age” and was nominated for a Tony in 2016, took a swipe at DeSantis during the ceremony. The New York City audience laughed along, showcasing the predictable bias that pervades these events.
This is not the first time the Tony Awards have used their platform to attack conservatives. In 2018, actor Robert De Niro received a standing ovation when he shouted, “F*** Trump.” It seems that Broadway has become a safe haven for left-wing political grandstanding, with little regard for the diversity of opinions in the audience.
DeSantis has faced criticism from the Left for his opposition to Critical Race Theory (CRT) in public schools. The governor believes that focusing on strong academic performance, rather than divisive ideologies, is crucial for student success. In April 2022, the Florida Department of Education found that 41% of math textbooks under consideration included instruction on CRT and other prohibited topics. DeSantis’s decision to prioritize academic excellence over politically motivated agendas has been met with outrage from the progressive establishment.
In May, DeSantis signed three bills into law that placed further restrictions on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives in Florida. These bills aim to ensure that public institutions do not spend taxpayer dollars on discriminatory programs and prevent schools from imposing political loyalty tests on students and faculty. The governor’s focus on expanding workforce education and career and technical programs has earned Florida the top spot for education in the country.
The media’s attention has largely fixated on Senate Bill 266, which cuts off funding for DEI initiatives promoting “dangerous political and social activism.” However, the other bills, House Bill 931 and Senate Bill 240, are equally significant. HB 931 protects individuals from being compelled to make political statements or ideological attestations in hiring, promotions, and admissions, while SB 240 expands access to career and technical education programs.
DeSantis’s commitment to providing quality education while rejecting divisive ideologies has made him a target for those who prioritize woke narratives over academic excellence. The Tony Awards’ disparaging portrayal of DeSantis reflects the broader trend of the entertainment industry aligning itself with progressive politics and using its platform to attack conservatives. It’s a disheartening reminder that the arts should be about fostering creativity and unity, rather than promoting a narrow ideological agenda.