It has been a week of lawsuits. Almost immediately after the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District’s Board of Supervisors voted to revoke its’s eleventh-hour development agreements with the now-terminated Reedy Creek Improvement District, Disney Parks sued the board and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for government retaliation. Now, the special district’s new board is countersuing Disney, and Governor DeSantis had some words to say on the matter.
“So first of all, no corporation is above the law and the people of this state. It is wrong for one corporation to basically corrupt the local government, run it as their own fiefdom, be exempt from laws, have all kinds of benefits that nobody else has,” says the Governor, also mentioning how “disappointing” and “problematic” it is to see Disney advocating “the sexualization of children” and holding a “very close relationship with the Chinese Communist Party.”
“They should not be able to govern themselves,” he added. “And the issue is more than one company… I think the issue is about who governs in our society.”
Governor DeSantis also cited the elections last November, which gave him and Republicans a landslide victory across the board, as further validation that this reigning in on Disney and corporations are what Floridians want.
“Now we’re implementing the will of the people, and for them to act like they have the ability to veto that.. is putting their thumb in the eye of the voters of this state,” he added.
You can read the nearly full statement here.
During an event earlier today, Gov. DeSantis was asked for his reaction to the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board announcing it will sue Disney in state court. He talked for over 4 minutes – here's his full answer: pic.twitter.com/aIFDrh7JuI
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) May 1, 2023
The Governor also blamed political agendas for the way the situation has been portrayed across the country as established opponents and even members of his own party–who possibly see him as competition for the White House–begin to attack him for this battle. This includes the attempts to draw Walt Disney World or The Walt Disney Company in general out of Florida to states like North Carolina and Virginia.
“They’re just trying to pursue their own agenda and trying to pursue a narrative, and the reality is there’s a lot of people who always used to criticize this arrangement that Disney had as being corrupt, as being unfair. And then the minute I was the one to come in and help unwind it, then the flip because they want to go against me,” he explains. “It’s just their partisanship that’s showing.”
“I think what a lot of people haven’t done,” he added. “They haven’t actually read the law. And the law in Florida is these development agreements are subject to revocation by the legislature or by the pertinent governing body. And that’s what the board has done.”
We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on this story as more developments come to light.