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DeSantis could tear Disney’s “self-governing” status in “Don’t Say Gay” feud

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was open to stripping Walt Disney Co. of its special self-government status for publicly opposing the recently enacted “Don’t Say Gay” law.

DeSantis has been at odds with his state’s largest employer over the Parental Rights in Education Act, which bans teachers from discussing LGBTQ issues like sexual orientation or gender identity with students unless they are in fourth grade or higher .

DeSantis signed the law into law last week and asked Disney to release a statement vowing to defeat it in court.

“Disney has alienated a lot of people now,” DeSantis told reporters in West Palm Beach on Thursday.

“And so the political clout they’re used to, I think, has evaporated. So the question is, why do you even want special privileges in the law?”

The governor added, “And I don’t think we should do that.”

In 1967, Florida established the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a semi-private independent entity controlled by Disney. It gave the company the power to approve construction projects for its theme parks and to build and manage the necessary infrastructure to support its operations.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signaled Thursday that he was ready to remove the Walt Disney Company's special status over its opposition to the
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signaled Thursday that he was ready to remove the Walt Disney Company’s special status over its opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” law.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Sipa
The Walt Disney Company has criticized DeSantis and the GOP-led Florida state legislature over a newly enacted law that critics say is homophobic and anti-transgender.
The Walt Disney Company has criticized DeSantis and the GOP-led Florida state legislature over a newly enacted law that critics say is homophobic and anti-transgender.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

The county was also authorized to collect its own taxes and then use the proceeds to build public services and maintain roads and bridges.

If the GOP-led state government repeals the law, Disney World and all of its properties would be regulated by Orange and Osceola counties in central Florida.

Disney originally moved to Florida in the mid-1960s because the company promised to act as its own government.

The Post has reached out to Disney for comment.

Disney workers staged a strike to protest the company's initial reluctance to vigorously denounce the legislation.
Disney workers staged a strike to protest the company’s initial reluctance to vigorously denounce the legislation.
Bloomberg via Getty Images

DeSantis wasn’t the only GOP state official engaged in saber-rattling over Disney’s special status.

“Yesterday was the 2nd meeting in a week [with] other lawmakers to discuss repealing the Reedy Creek Improvement Act of 1967, which allows Disney to operate as its own government,” Republican Spencer Roach tweeted Wednesday.

“If Disney is going to embrace the Awoken ideology, it seems appropriate that they should be regulated by Orange County.”

Disney executives, led by CEO Bob Chapek, were initially reluctant to publicly oppose the measures, citing a desire to stay out of controversial policy debates.

But this angered a large number of Disney’s liberal-minded employees, who staged strikes and other forms of public protest, increasing pressure on Chapek and other company leaders to take a more forceful stance.

https://nypost.com/2022/04/01/desantis-may-yank-disneys-self-governing-status-in-dont-say-gay-feud/ DeSantis could tear Disney’s “self-governing” status in “Don’t Say Gay” feud

DUSTIN JONES

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