Litigation /

DeSantis Comments On Disney's Lawsuit Against Him, Other Florida Officials

'We’ve Basically Moved On ... They’re Going To Lose'

Florida governor Ron DeSantis called on entertainment giant Disney to drop their lawsuit against himself and other elected officials in the Sunshine State.

The Florida governor, who is also seeking the Republican nomination in the 2024 Presidential Election, said the entertainment giant would lose their lawsuit in a sit-down interview with CNBC.

“I would just say go back to what you did well, I think it’s going to be the right business decision,” DeSantis said. “We’ve basically moved on, they’re suing the state of Florida, and they’re going to lose that lawsuit. So what I would say is drop the lawsuit.”

Parents have lost confidence in Disney, DeSantis added.

“This is a company that’s really speaking to what they want, the way it had been traditionally,” he said, noting himself and wife Casey were married at Walt Disney World. “It’s not like we’re opposed.”

“We’ve appreciated working with them over the years.”

The Florida governor detailed the state’s low unemployment rate along with cultivating a pro-business environment, suggesting the entertainment giant would still be successful after losing their self-governing authority, which Disney has had since 1967. DeSantis also said his decision to keep Florida in business during the COVID-19 pandemic assisted in garnering profit for Disney.

“Your competitors all do very well — here at Universal SeaWorld, they have not had the same special privileges as you have,” DeSantis said in his message to Disney. “So all we want to do is treat everybody the same and let’s move forward. I’m totally fine with that. But I’m not fine with giving extraordinary privileges to one special company at the exclusion of everybody else.”

In 2022, Disney publicly came out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, dubbed as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by opponents of the legislation. In response to Disney’s public opposition to HB 1557, DeSantis announced the state’s legislature would seek the termination of Disney’s self-governance in the Sunshine State.

“It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights. You needed me to be a stronger ally in the fight for equal rights and I let you down,” former Disney CEO Bob Chapek said at the time.

In April, Disney sued the DeSantis administration and other state officials, claiming efforts to remove the entertainment giant’s self-governance was in retaliation of their public opposition to HB1557 and therefore violated their First Amendment Right.

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