Walt Disney Company is suing Florida’s Ron DeSantis over “Don’t Say, Gay”

Key Takeaways:

  • Disney is suing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, alleging that he is using his power to make it difficult for Disney to operate in Florida.
  • The premise of the fight is based on a Florida bill known as “Don’t Say, Gay.”
  • The Florida Governor’s Office has dismissed Disney’s lawsuit as “meritless.
Vancouver, CANADA - Sep 27 2022 : Twitter account of Ron DeSantis on an iPhone. He is the 46th governor of Florida since 2019
Disney is suing Florida’s Ron DeSantis.

WISCONSIN (CoinChapter.com) — The Walt Disney Company is bringing legal action against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The media behemoth claims that the Republican governor is running a “relentless campaign” against it. 

To “weaponize” against the company, according to Disney, the governor is allegedly exploiting his official authority. The two parties have been at odds over a contentious regulation prohibiting students from discussing their sexual orientation or gender identity in the classroom.

Background of the Conflict

The fight between Disney and DeSantis began last year when the company came out against a Florida bill known as “Don’t Say, Gay.” 

The bill limits classroom discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity. Disney claimed that the bill would negatively impact the company’s ability to attract and retain top talent. The company also argued that the bill would adversely affect Florida’s reputation, hurting tourism.

DeSantis’ administration maintained that the bill was necessary to ensure that public schools remain “neutral” on social issues. 

The Governor’s Office also argued that the bill would protect the rights of parents to educate their children according to their religious beliefs. Despite opposition from Disney and other companies, the bill was eventually passed into law. However, Disney’s feud with the governor did not end there.

Disney’s Lawsuit

In its lawsuit, Disney claims that DeSantis’ administration has repeatedly targeted the company with “retaliatory action.” In addition, the lawsuit alleges that the governor has used his power to make it difficult for Disney to operate in Florida.

One example cited in the lawsuit is the governor’s decision to withhold funding for a workforce training program that would have benefited Disney. The company claims a decision was made in retaliation for opposing the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

The lawsuit also accuses DeSantis’ administration of using “unlawful and improper tactics” to control the company’s property. Disney claims that the governor is attempting to seize control of its property to force his demands.

The Response from DeSantis’ Administration

The Governor’s Office has dismissed Disney’s lawsuit as “meritless.” Taryn Fenske, the communications director for DeSantis, said: 

“We are unaware of any legal right that a company has to operate its government or maintain special privileges not held by other businesses in the state.”

Fenske also claimed that Disney’s accusations were an attempt to distract from the company’s own “corporate misbehavior.” She cited Disney’s recent layoffs as evidence that the company was more interested in protecting its bottom line than supporting Florida’s economy.

The governor’s office has also accused Disney of unlawfully attempting to retain control over its property. In addition, the DeSantis board claims that the entertainment company’s actions violated the law and were performed without proper public notice.

The conflict highlights a battle between corporations and governments over social policy issues. 

While companies argue that they have a responsibility to advocate for their employees and customers, some governments maintain that they must protect the interests of their constituents.

It remains to be seen how the lawsuit will play out in court. However, the conflict is far from over. As battles over social issues rage across the country, more companies will likely find themselves at odds with their local governments.

Disney, Walt Disney Company is suing Florida’s Ron DeSantis over “Don’t Say, Gay”

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