Disney has clearly suffered the wrath of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis this past year. After Disney’s employees “bullied” their leadership into standing up against Florida’s “Parental Rights in Education Act,” calling it the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, Florida fired back hard.
Florida’s lawmakers quickly stripped Disney of their special tax carveout, one that Disney had clearly taken for granted. What has happened since? Disney seems to have doubled down on their woke, inappropriate content for children, but their stock price has plummeted, their streaming channel is suffering, and their CEO was replaced by the previous CEO, Bob Iger.
Now that Iger seems to be trying to calm the waters and Ron DeSantis was overwhelmingly reelected to a 2nd term, there were reports that Deisney was quickly getting their painful punishment rescinded. From FT:
Florida lawmakers are working on plans to reverse a move that would strip Disney of its right to operate a private government around its theme parks, potentially resolving the fallout from the “Don’t Say Gay” controversy that dragged the entertainment giant into the culture wars. In April, the Florida legislature voted to dissolve Disney’s 55-year-old special tax district following a public feud between Ron DeSantis, the state’s governor, and then-chief executive Bob Chapek over a new state law restricting discussion of LGBTQ issues in classrooms.
The FT article goes on to say how much Disney need and deserves this special carveout to provide high quality to its park visitors.
Oh, cry me a river.
But what is more surprising is this report of an about-face by lawmakers. While DeSantis is not in complete control of the legislature’s actions, it is overwhelmingly Republican, and you would think they would need to show more good behavior before getting their special privileges reinstated.
So it’s not surprising to see a quick, unhappy response from the DeSantis camp:
In a statement provided after publication of this article, a spokesperson for DeSantis said: “Governor DeSantis does not make ‘U-turns’. The governor was right to champion removing the extraordinary benefit given to one company through the Reedy Creek improvement district. He added: “We will have an even playing field for businesses in Florida, and the state certainly owes no special favors to one company. Disney’s debts will not fall on the taxpayers of Florida. A plan is in the works and will be released soon.”
Of course, this comment was buried at the bottom of the article. The spokesperson seems pretty clear a big rollback is not in the works.
That said, the final statement is interesting, to say the least. What sort of plan is in the works, if it is going to give an even playing field and plans to give no special favors to Disney?
We will be watching intently to see whether Disney is treated fairly, or if the special crony privileges kick back in for a company that has been making worrisome choices for children’s content.
- Biden is trying to make South Carolina the first state in the Democratic primaries.
- He is doing this to return a favor to Rep. Jim Clyburn, his ally.
- This would also give Biden a strong advantage since he would South Carolina in 2020.