The Daily Wire, a conservative media organization with no history of producing children’s programming, is using Disney’s opposition to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” law as a rallying point to try to enter the business of kids entertainment.
The Nashville-based company announced Wednesday that it plans to invest at least $100 million over the next three years into live-action and animated kids’ content. That’s on top of more than $100 million it expects to spend on conservative-values entertainment content for adults, according to Daily Wire co-CEO Jeremy Boreing. The right-wing outlet’s first content targeted at children is supposed to launch on Daily Wire’s subscription platform in the spring of 2023.
Americans are “tired of giving their money to woke media companies who want to indoctrinate their children with radical race and gender theory,” Boreing said in announcing the initiative. “But they want to do more than just cancel them. They want alternatives.”
The Daily Wire’s most popular property is the daily podcast from co-founder Ben Shapiro, who has argued that homosexuality and transgender identity are mental illnesses.
The Daily Wire kid-content announcement comes two days after Disney denounced Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill, which among other things “prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity” through the third grade. Disney’s public opposition followed employee protests over Disney CEO Bob Chapek’s previously tepid response to the bill and news that Disney had made donations to the sponsors of the legislation.
“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law,” Disney said in the statement released Monday. “Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country.”
According to The Daily Wire, it originally planned to announce the push into children’s programming in November 2022. However, the company said it decided to move up the announcement based on a report that Disney employees at a recent company meeting discussed increasing “queerness” in the company’s content and adopting more gender-neutral terms in its theme parks.
“Disney was once a reliable source of wholesome and innocent entertainment for children,” The Daily Wire said in a press release. But now parents are “fearful that the content their kids are consuming is brainwashing them at best and endangering them at worst.”
Daily Wire’s Boreing said three months ago, the company recruited Eric Branscum and Ethan Nicolle of the Christian-themed “VeggieTales in the House” series and conservative Christian news satire site Babylon Bee to lead content development for “DW Kids.”
So far, Daily Wire has six scripts for its first kids’ show, “Chilla Time,” about a family of homeschooled chinchillas, on which it has already spent “seven figures,” according to Boreing. The second DW Kids show is “Doodles With Noodles,” a live-action puppet show hosted by Nicolle who alongside a sidekick puppet (Noodles) teaches kids how to draw.
“We’re not making polemics… [W]e’re not making ‘Hillary’s Hard Drive Part 3: The Animated Series’ for little kids,” said Boreing. “We’re making content that has underlying values that conservative Christians all agree upon, but that they actually want to see.”
The Daily Wire offers several subscription tiers that provide access to video content, including $144/year, $240/year, or $14/month. The company has “hundreds of thousands” of subscribers, Boreing said.
In January 2021, The Daily Wire announced plans to produce films and signed a deal with Gina Carano, the actor who appeared in the first two seasons of Disney Plus’ “The Mandalorian” before Lucasfilm fired her over controversial social-media posts, one of which suggested that the treatment of conservatives in the U.S. was akin to the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany. The Daily Wire’s film starring Carano, called “Terror on the Prairie,” is slated to be released this summer. The film’s synopsis reads, “On the Montana plains, a frontier woman must protect herself against a ruthless gang of outlaws hell-bent on revenge.”
The Daily Wire says it is wholly owned by Bentkey Ventures LLC (formerly Forward Publishing LLC), which is owned by Boreing, Shapiro, Daily Wire co-CEO Caleb Robinson and Farris Wilks, who co-founded a hydraulic fracking company with his brother Dan that they sold in 2011 for $3.5 billion.
Last week Daily Wire launched another new line of business — Jeremy’s Razors, which the company claims has sold 45,000-plus razor subscriptions in seven days. Daily Wire launched the razor brand after Harry’s Razors a year ago pulled its advertising over anti-gay and anti-trans opinions in its shows.