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Disney Lands Latest Blow In Ongoing Feud With DeSantis

The move could negatively impact Florida's economy. Disney Lands Latest Blow In Ongoing Feud With DeSantis Illustration by Early Chirp (Editorials by imageBROKER/Shutterstock, Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/Shutterstock)

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The bad blood between Disney and Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to result in moves by each side that seem designed to make a point.

Most recently, the company that owns and operates Walt Disney World in the Sunshine State put the kibosh on plans to invest a whopping $1 billion on projects that could have created thousands of jobs in Florida.

A history of the dispute

If you haven’t been paying attention to all the details, you might not know exactly why a governor and an iconic entertainment company are at each others’ throats. Here’s a brief rundown of events that will bring us to the latest development.

  • DeSantis got upset when Disney spoke out against his push to eliminate certain lessons about gender and sexuality from elementary education.
  • The governor retaliated in part by calling for Walt Disney World to lose some of the benefits the park has enjoyed since its inception.
  • Disney hit back with a lawsuit and threatened to call off as much as $17 billion in future investments in the state.

Where things stand now

Although Disney executive Josh D’Amaro didn’t mention DeSantis by name in a recent memo, he confirmed that “changing business conditions” were at the root of the company’s decision to halt plans for a $1 billion office complex in the state.

Last week, Disney CEO Robert Iger expressed similar concerns about the Florida’s current trajectory, asking during an earnings call: “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?”

Despite the deep rift, D’Amaro still expressed “hope” that the company will be able to push forward with the $17 billion construction project at the theme park, which is expected to create roughly 13,000 jobs.

Chris Agee
Chris Agee May 20th, 2023
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