Disney Amends and Expands Lawsuit Against Governor DeSantis, Uses His Own Words Against Him

DeSantis thinks Disney Feud will help him be President

On April 26, Disney showed that they were fed up with their year-long fight against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. The company felt that the governor had repeatedly been punishing them for exercising their First Amendment rights and sued. In its lawsuit, Disney stated that it didn’t want to sue, but was left with no choice. They cited the numerous actions DeSantis had taken against them, including stripping Walt Disney World of its right to self-govern, threatening to put a prison next to the Resort, and enacting legislation that would put the monorail under state inspection.

Disney World Monorrail

Credit: Disney

Mr. DeSantis, for his part, has said that Disney’s lawsuit against him is purely political. DeSantis, who is expected to announce his candidacy for President, has been traveling around the country, touting his victory over Disney. However, it is DeSantis’ own words that may cause him to lose the lawsuit. Last week, the governor made some comments that caused Disney to amend its lawsuit.

The governor also signed legislation that voided Disney’s land agreements that it had made before the Reedy Creek board was disbanded. Disney claims that the land agreements were completely legal and expanded the lawsuit against Mr. DeSantis.

Reedy Creek Improvement District

Credit: Orlando Business Journal

Deadline Hollywood reported on the amended and expanded complaint, which reads:

Disney’s amended complaint — read it here — opens with a DeSantis quote from last week, in which he said, “[T]his all started, of course, with our parents’ rights bill.”

“The State’s actions over the last two weeks are the latest strikes,” Disney said in its amended complaint. “At the Governor’s bidding, the State’s oversight board has purported to ‘void’ publicly noticed and duly agreed development contracts, which had laid the foundation for billions of Disney’s investment dollars and thousands of jobs. Days later, the State Legislature enacted and Governor DeSantis signed legislation rendering these contracts immediately void and unenforceable. These government actions were patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional.”

bad parent behavior magic kingdom

Credit: Disney

In the amended complaint, Disney also stated that they don’t think that the governor will stop his government retaliation any time soon.

“The Governor and his allies have made clear they do not care and will not stop. The Governor recently declared that his team would not only “void the development agreement”—just as the State has now done, twice—but also planned “to look at things like taxes on the hotels,” “tolls on the roads,” “developing some of the property that the district owns” with “more amusement parks,” and even putting a “state prison” next to Walt Disney World. “Who knows? I just think the possibilities are endless,” he said.”

DeSantis calls out Disney in public plays nice in private

Credit: ABC

The governor has said that he thinks Disney will not win its lawsuit against him, but legal experts disagree. The governor has made his dislike of Disney very clear and won’t stop talking about what he has done to them. It should be noted that the governor wants all Disney rides and attractions to fall under state inspection. He would not require the same of neighboring theme parks Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando.

universal orlando

Credit: Universal

Disney’s amended complaint comes just two days before the company’s second-quarter earnings call, which will take place on May 10. Disney typically only talks about finances during the earnings call. But with the lawsuit being on everyone’s mind, it’s possible that Disney CEO Bob Iger will address it.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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