In a recent interview with the President and CEO of The FAMiLY Leader, Bob Vander Plaats, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis commented on the two still ongoing court cases with The Walt Disney Company, saying he believes he has “won the battle.”
DeSantis Claims to Have ‘Won the Battle Against Disney’
DeSantis addressed the Florida Parental Rights in Education Act, which restricts classroom discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity. Opponents have referred to this as the “Don’t Say Gay” law. It triggered DeSantis’ feud with Disney after the company condemned the law.
“A lot of these old guard Republicans were telling me that somehow Disney, when they call the shots you just got to bend the knee, and I said no way, I’m not going to sit idly by and let people corrupt the innocence of our kids,” DeSantis said. “If we can’t stand up for our kids in those situations then we’re not good for anything, so we fought back against Disney, we had a big battle with them, and we won the battle against Disney.”
After first trying to dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, DeSantis eventually took over the District instead, renaming it the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and appointing his own Board of Supervisors.
“I’ll tell you the fact that we were willing to stand up to Disney, that had reverberations across this country,” DeSantis said. “I think you do have some CEOs that are not necessarily bought into this agenda, but it’s the path of least resistance because the media will attack them if they don’t do the agenda, some of these activist employees will attack them, and so they just say, ‘You know what bend the knee and move on.’ Now, they can say, ‘Well gee, I don’t want to end up like Disney, people may fight back from the [political] right now.’ So I think we helped kind of refocus business and America in a better way, I think it was going off the rails.”
DeSantis said he believes the state has taken the most significant action against a “woke cooperation” and that the state of Florida is better off for it.
Disney filed a federal lawsuit against the District Board and DeSantis after the Board attempted to declare Disney’s final agreements with RCID null and void. Disney claims this was a violation of their constitutional rights and cited a “targeted campaign of government retaliation—orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech—now threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights.”
The Board then filed a state lawsuit against Disney and Disney is now countersuing on the state level, arguing that because RCID was never actually dissolved, the CFOTD is essentially the same entity and is going back on its word. All lawsuits are still ongoing.
DeSantis’ Central Florida Tourism Oversight District lawsuit against Disney will have a summary judgment hearing on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.
This week, Disney released the results of a study by Oxford Economics about the company’s impact on the Florida economy. Among other statistics, the study showed Disney generates $40 billion in total economic impact and that they account for over 250,000 jobs in the state.
What do you think of the Governor’s recent comments about Disney? Let us know in the comments.