Videos by OutKick
The Walt Disney Company picked an unnecessary political fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and lost.
After Disney publicly came out against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, DeSantis announced that he’d move to strip Disney of their special governance of the Disney World property.
The Reddy Creek Improvement District had essentially functioned as Disney’s own autonomous city. Instead of answering to local or state governments, the company was able to essentially do what they wanted.
Just a few months ago, DeSantis signed legislation officially putting an end to their “corporate kingdom.”
READ: RON DESANTIS SIGNS BILL TO END DISNEY’S ‘CORPORATE KINGDOM’ IN LATEST CHAPTER OF FLORIDA FEUD
But in a perfect distillation of modern Disney fashion and the remarkable cooperation corporations get from partisan local officials, they recently went around the legislation in a desperate attempt to protect themselves.
The new governing board of Disney’s district, appointed by Governor DeSantis, uncovered the corporation’s plot to thwart the new bill.
According to a statement from five law firms retained by the new board, just before the new legislation came into effect, the former board took action.
“The District under the control of Disney’s hand-picked Board of Supervisors gave Disney thirty-year vested rights and control over all development rights throughout the entire District and not just on Disney’s property,” the statement reads.
Essentially, Disney tried to subvert DeSantis at the last minute. Sounds about right.
Disney’s Self-Inflicted Wounds
Taryn Fenske, Communications Director for the Office of Governor DeSantis, explained that Disney’s efforts are likely not legally binding.
“An initial review suggests these agreements may have significant legal infirmities that would render the contracts void as a matter of law,” Fenske said in a statement.
But the fact that they tried to hand themselves power over the district again shows how much they wanted to retain control over Reddy Creek.
Despite many on the left and the company’s corporate defenders claiming otherwise, DeSantis taking control of their area was a tremendous blow.
So it’s not surprising they’re desperately trying to stop it from happening.
Except, of course, they easily could have stopped it from happening. By not getting involved in a discussion that had nothing to do with them.
Disney believed themselves to be untouchable, and so felt confident inserting themselves into the legislative debate. But they underestimated who they were up against.
For years, corporations have been able to openly engage in woke political positions without fear of reprisal. Sure, conservatives may organize small boycotts or express frustration, but it often quickly fizzles out.
But DeSantis, unlike many on the right, went on offense. He moved quickly and decisively to tell Disney that interfering in the legislative process, attempting to overturn the will of Florida voters, simply wasn’t acceptable.
And of course, Disney’s share price and financial fortunes have declined precipitously ever since.
Disney announced massive layoffs, with CEO Bob Iger saying he wants to cut $6 billion from the budget.
Many have claimed losing Reddy Creek wasn’t a big deal, but their recent actions say otherwise. And while they may think their last minute Hail Mary could stop the inevitable, once again, they’ve likely underestimated who they’re up against.
Florida is where woke goes to die, and that’s not changing no matter how hard Disney tries.
2 CommentsLeave a Reply
I love DeSantis. Dude is smart, tough, and has balls that many others on the right don’t.
DeSantis and his administration understand that corporations can’t be allowed to pursue and promote a woke agenda without any penalty. Consumers have to follow his lead, and be better about disassociating with corporations that tell you they don’t want your business.