Last week, long running tensions between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney boiled over as the company filed a first amendment lawsuit against the politician claiming political retaliation.
Disney took a stand against DeSantis’s infamous “Don’t Say Gay” law last year, a law that bans discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity in educational settings. According to The New York Times, the governor along with other state legislators have targeted Disney ever since. Consequences of this feud have seen Florida legislators end the resort’s “long-held ability to self-govern its 25,000-acre resort as if it were a county,” and appoint a new board to oversee the parks and hotels.
Supporting their reasoning for the lawsuit, Disney claimed DeSantis piloted “a targeted campaign of government retaliation.” The terms of Disney’s lawsuit would reverse the governor’s limits on the company’s self-governing power. Disney has been a self-governing district for 55 years, an opportunity which was granted by the Florida state government to incentivize the expansion of the park and boost the state’s tourism economy.
Over 75,000 people are employed by Disney in Florida, and the company paid more than a billion dollars in state and local taxes last year.