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This Popular Show Host Just Took on Disney’s Legal Team

john oliver mickey mouse
Credit: Disney/HBO

It seems everyone wants to take on the Mouse House. Recently, the Walt Disney Company has been making headlines for taking on Florida Gov Ron DeSantis and his specially appointed board in the Disney vs. DeSantis story that has been going on for a year. Of course, you don’t just take on a giant like the Walt Disney Company unless you’re sure you’re going to win. Especially when the Walt Disney Company has a legal team astute enough to bring the most ingenious of loopholes to maintain their autonomy and interests.

magic kingdom cinderella castle

“Partners Statue” in front of Cinderella Castle, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World Resort, Central Florida/Courtesy of Disney

Related: The War is Over, and Disney has Beaten DeSantis

Now another entertainment company is going to pay the price for this talk show host taking on Disney. The provocative contrarian commentator John Oliver took a risk on his show recently (and we’re sure he made HBO Max’s lawyers sweat) when he “[Dared] Disney to Sue [The Show] Over Use of Mickey Mouse’s Steamboat Willie Image.”

While discussing intellectual property recently, John Oliver baited Disney over “[losing] its copyright on the “closely guarded corporate treasure” that is Steamboat Willie Mickey Mouse after 95 years.”

John Oliver on Last Week Tonight

John Oliver on Last Week Tonight / Courtesy of HBO

He then poked fun at the Mouse House, introducing Last Week Tonight‘s newest character: a black-and-white Mickey Mouse fashioned after the iconic figure.

“We are staking our claim to Mickey Mouse right now,” before the character enters the public domain in 2024, Oliver said. “I know Disney’s lawyers might argue that this Mickey is closely associated with their brand, although they should know that he’s pretty closely associated with our brand now too.”

This isn’t the first controversial topic (and likely won’t be the last) that the show host has explored. He’s also dived deep into a person many Disney Fanatics will be more than familiar with.

John Oliver has also spoken out in the past about Ron DeSantis, and needless to say, his opinion wasn’t favorable. It was one that was corroborated by some in the comments of the video, “I am a Floridian and I wish our leaders would focus on the growing number of seniors experiencing homelessness instead of trans athletes or woke math books. Our politicians never focus on the issues that actually improve quality of life. Sad.”

Most recently, Florida was also on the receiving end of criticism for banning a movie about a Black civil rights activist.

At the time of publishing, Disney has not responded to John Oliver’s dig, though it’s possible the entertainment giant might take the joke in the spirit of the show.

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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