In a legal battle that has drawn significant attention, members of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District are requesting a Florida judge to render a summary judgment against Disney, as the company opposes Governor Ron DeSantis’ takeover of a board overseeing Walt Disney World.
This move comes as part of a larger conflict stemming from Disney’s opposition to the “Don’t Say Gay” legislation promoted by DeSantis and Republican lawmakers.
Summary Judgment Request
The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District is seeking a summary judgment on five out of the nine counts in their lawsuit against Disney. This could lead to a swift resolution without a full trial, potentially in favor of the District.
Background and Retaliation Allegations
The conflict between Disney and DeSantis began when Disney’s former CEO, Bob Chapek, publicly opposed a law that restricted discussions about sexual orientation and gender identity in schools.
In response, DeSantis initiated a takeover of the board that oversees Walt Disney World. This move was widely seen as a retaliatory measure against Disney for its stance on the controversial legislation.
Legal Action and Claims
Two separate lawsuits have emerged from this conflict. In a federal court case in Tallahassee, Disney argues that DeSantis violated its free speech rights by orchestrating a campaign of retribution against the company for opposing the law.
Disney’s claims include violations of First Amendment rights, contractual alterations, property rights, and due process rights.
DeSantis’ Response and Economic Impact
Governor DeSantis has stated that he has “moved on” from the conflict with Disney and urged the company to drop its lawsuit. He emphasized that Florida’s economy remained largely open during the COVID-19 pandemic, benefiting companies like Disney. You may also read Spain Secures Maiden Women’s World Cup Final Berth in Thrilling Victory over Sweden.
DeSantis highlighted that his administration treated all businesses equally and that other theme park competitors like Universal and SeaWorld did not receive special privileges.
Disney’s Business Plans
Amidst the legal battle, Disney announced the cancellation of its plans to construct a $1 billion office complex in Florida, which would have generated numerous jobs. Nonetheless, the company’s theme park and consumer products chair, Josh D’Amaro, expressed optimism about the direction of Disney World’s business.
He mentioned that the company still intends to undertake $17 billion worth of projects on its Disney World campus over the next decade. You should also check Remembering Darren Kent: Actor from “Game of Thrones” and More, Passes Away at 36.
The conflict between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues to be a topic of contention, with legal battles involving allegations of retaliation, free speech violations, and economic impacts.
The request for a summary judgment by the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District introduces the potential for a quicker resolution to the ongoing legal dispute.