The Feud Between Disney and Florida’s Governor
The Walt Disney Company is currently embroiled in a legal battle with the board of supervisors appointed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to oversee Walt Disney World’s theme park operations. DeSantis took over Disney World’s self-governing district through legislation passed by the Florida legislature before appointing new overseers to run it.
The Legal Challenge
The new board filed a legal challenge against Disney’s case in Federal court after it accused the governor and the board members of carrying out a campaign of political retribution for opposing a bill against grooming in schools. Disney filed a May 17 lawsuit, arguing that the board’s challenge against it was rendered moot after DeSantis signed a bill voiding the development plans for its theme park.
The Root of the Feud
The feud between Disney and DeSantis stems from the controversial Florida bill that prohibits the promotion of sexual orientation and gender identity propaganda in schools. Disney publicly criticized the bill, which led to Florida Republicans and DeSantis targeting Disney’s special tax district, formerly called the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which granted it the right to effectively self-govern its theme parks in Orlando since 1968.
DeSantis’ Attempts to Weaken Disney’s Power
DeSantis sacked the five-member board of the special tax district and replaced them with his hand-picked nominees. Right before the new board came in, Disney signed agreements with the old board in March and stripped the new supervisors of development authority over the 25,000-acre district. DeSantis’ board sued Disney for illicitly crafting the “11th-hour” modifications to the district charter that would have removed their powers of oversight. Disney countered those accusations against the last-minute move and argued that the changes were merely written to secure its long-term development plans.
Disney claimed it was the victim of “weaponizing” actions by Florida Republicans who wanted to punish it for opposing the bill. The entertainment giant is now asking a Florida court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by the board of supervisors appointed by Governor DeSantis.
The feud between Disney and Florida’s governor is ongoing, and it remains to be seen how it will be resolved. However, it is clear that both sides are determined to fight for what they believe is right.
- Disney is fighting to maintain its self-governing district and protect its long-term development plans.
- DeSantis is trying to weaken Disney’s power and hold the company accountable for its opposition to the controversial Florida bill.
Only time will tell who will come out on top in this high-stakes legal battle.
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