In an ongoing legal battle between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the governor’s appointees have requested a summary judgment against Disney in a state court in Orlando. The case revolves around the takeover of a board responsible for overseeing Walt Disney World by the governor’s administration, a move seen as retribution for Disney’s public opposition to the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” legislation.
There are two separate lawsuits stemming from this takeover. In the federal court lawsuit filed by Disney in Tallahassee, the company claims that DeSantis violated their free speech rights. However, in the state court case, the focus is on whether Disney wrongfully stripped DeSantis’ appointees of their powers over design and construction at Disney World.
Last month, the judge presiding over the state case denied Disney’s request to dismiss the lawsuit, indicating that the case will proceed to trial. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District members now seek a summary judgment ruling in their favor on five of the nine counts in their case.
The Battle Between DeSantis and Disney: A Clash of Policies
Last year, a contentious conflict erupted between Florida Governor DeSantis and the entertainment powerhouse, Disney. The dispute originated from Disney’s public opposition to a state law prohibiting classroom discussions on sexual orientation and gender identity in the early grades, commonly known as the “Don’t Say Gay” policy.
In an unprecedented move, DeSantis and Florida lawmakers repealed these agreements through the passage of new legislation. The governor embraced this yearlong feud with Disney as part of his campaign for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, frequently criticizing the entertainment giant for being excessively “woke”. On the other hand, Disney accused DeSantis of violating their First Amendment rights.
In a recent interview with CNBC, DeSantis called for Disney to drop their lawsuit, stating that he and his allies have moved on from the contentious battle. Confident in his conviction, DeSantis asserted that Disney would ultimately lose their legal case against the state of Florida.
This clash between two formidable forces continues to captivate much attention and anticipation regarding its outcome.