Walt Disney Co. Wednesday sued the governor of Florida. Ron DeSantisaccusing the Republican in court documents of launching “a targeted campaign of government retaliation” against the entertainment giant.
Lawsuit alleges DeSantis, in response to Disney’s criticism of Florida”don’t say gay“, has engaged in a retaliatory effort that he says “threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region and violates its constitutional rights.”
After first noting Disney’s “immeasurable impact” on Florida and its economy, the complaint accuses DeSantis to stifle constitutionally protected free speech and to take subsequent actions that are “clearly retaliatory, blatantly anti-corporate, and blatantly unconstitutional.”
In February, DeSantis responded to Disney’s public opposition to the law, which prohibits discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in some classrooms, taking control of self-governing district of Walt Disney World and appoints five hand-picked supervisors to the District Board of Directors.
But Disney hampered the effort by stripping the board of its powers just before new members took over. And in a hilarious twist, the terms of THE new chord latest “until 21 years after the death of the last surviving descendant of King Charles III, King of England.”
The Republican responded by defending the legislation to impose state control on Disney rides (a largely meaningless effort, as Disney’s safety standards already exceed those of the state), and also encouraging the board to assert its power over Disney.
He also suggested that he could use his power to build a state prison on land formerly controlled by the company.
Disney employs about 75,000 people in the state and is Florida’s largest taxpayer.
“Disney finds itself in this unfortunate position because it expressed a view that the Governor and his allies did not like. Disney wishes things could have been resolved in a different way,” the lawsuit reads. “But Disney also knows it is fortunate to have the resources to take a stand against state retaliation – a stand small businesses and individuals may not be able to take when the state sues them for expressing their own opinions. In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind.
DeSantis should announce your auction for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination next month.