In a recent and somewhat surprising move, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has softened his stance in the ongoing conflict between his administration and The Walt Disney Company, encouraging Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, to “go back to doing what they do best and drop the lawsuit”.
The lawsuit claims a “‘targeted campaign of government retaliation” from the DeSantis administration, a claim DeSantis has firmly denied.
This shift in tone comes from a man who – while seeking the 2024 Republican presidential nomination – had relished in his dispute with Disney, the largest private employer in the state.
DeSantis has yet to speak directly to Iger about the legal battle but is said to be willing to do so if necessary. The ball could be very much back in Disney’s court with Governor DeSantis’ more amicable approach to the situation.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been taking a stand against what he perceives to be corporate overreach, and the Walt Disney Company appears to be a prime target. As Disney filed a lawsuit claiming the Governor had tried to punish them for vocalizing their opposition to the state’s controversial LGBT classroom restrictions, DeSantis emphasized his commitment to standing up for what he believes in.
He proudly addressed a crowd in Oskaloosa, Iowa last week, saying, “Until I arrived on the scene, whatever Disney wanted would be done.” While DeSantis not-so-subtly criticized Disney for their left-leaning values – which has become something of a battle cry for his presidential bid – Disney CEO Bob Iger famously stated that “its goal is to continue to tell wonderful stories and have a positive, positive impact on the world.”
Love him or hate him, one thing’s for sure – DeSantis isn’t afraid to challenge corporate giants if it means standing up for what he believes is right.
In Florida, tensions between Governor Ron DeSantis and the Walt Disney Co. have been increasing for quite some time. The dispute began last year when Disney opposed the Parental Rights in Education Act, which was aimed at preventing any discussion of sexuality or gender identity in K-12 classrooms; opponents labeled it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.
In response, Governor DeSantis signed a law to revoke Disney’s special tax district in Florida, where the company had previously been given the power to essentially self-govern its Orlando theme parks. DeSantis has argued that he simply wants a fair playing field for all companies, and that Disney did not need its special status.
However, his opponents have criticized him for his actions against Disney with former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie stating that DeSantis “isn’t a conservative” based on his handling of the Disney issue. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump said the conflict was “so unnecessary”. Will this ongoing dispute ever be resolved? Only time will tell.