Disney Sues DeSantis


Disney Dining

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is entangled in lawsuits with Disney over differences in political opinions.

Sophia Cooper, Associate Editor-in-Chief/ News Editor

   The newest addition to a long-standing feud between the corporate giant Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is a lawsuit. On Apr. 26, Disney voted to sue DeSantis, and a countersuit approved by a local governing board was filed. With this latest addition, it looks like the feud between Disney and DeSantis is not going to end anytime soon. 

    The “feud” started after  Disney responded to the “Don’t Say Gay” bill which was largely criticized not only by Disney but by many other people all over the country. Disney was criticized by protesters who urged them to speak out more publicly against the bill. Former Disney CEO Bob Chapek did reach out to DeSantis regarding the bill but was unsuccessful in changing the governor’s mind. 

   Disney had its own special tax status, allowing them to act as its own government, which served as the next target for the Florida governor. Disney’s special tax status allowed them to retain control over construction, repairs, fire and other emergency departments, inspections, etc. There was an attempt by DeSantis, which was approved by the Florida legislature, to remove the tax status that has been in place since 1967 until it ultimately failed. Instead, Disney lost control over its board and DeSantis handpicked a new one. Disney very quickly was able to outsmart the governor by making an agreement that removed most of the power of the board members whom DeSantis put in place. 

   DeSantis has also proposed additional legislation which would put Disney through inspection from outside the company. Other actions which were not confirmed but were mentioned include raising taxes, building a prison outside of the amusement park and even building a non-Disney park nearby.

   Disney made the decision to sue after the board, which was appointed by the governor, voided a deal that was important to how Disney World functions. Without that deal, the company could face problems in the future with inspections and safety codes along with numerous other troubles. After waiting five days, DeSantis and his board voted to countersue the company. The case will be decided in Federal court. 

   Not only has DeSantis received backlash and criticism from the opposing party due to his attacks on Disney, but he has received criticism from his own party as well. This includes former President Donald Trump who has already announced his presidential campaign for 2024.

   DeSantis has made comments which have speculated that this is not the end of the dispute between the governor and the largest employer in the state.