On Wednesday, Disney filed a lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in connection with the Republican’s takeover of their theme park district, charging the governor of being engaged in a “targeted initiative of government revenge” after the business challenged a rule opponents dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.”
The action, filed in Tallahassee, was launched only minutes after a Disney World oversight committee formed by DeSantis decided to terminate a pact that gave the business control over theme park design and construction.
It’s the latest fight between DeSantis, a Republican running for president, and Disney, a prominent political player and significant tourist generator in Florida.
The governor’s fight with Disney has sparked outrage among the governor’s White House contenders and business leaders, who see it as an unusual violation of conservatism’s small-government beliefs.
The battle began last year, when Disney openly criticized a state legislation that prohibits school instruction on sexual orientation as well as gender identity in the early grades, a policy detractors refer to as “Don’t Say Gay.”
As retribution, DeSantis seized Disney World’s self-governing area and formed a new board of supervisors to supervise municipal services throughout the huge theme parks. However, before the arrival of the new board, the firm squeezed through a last minute arrangement that deprived the new supervisors of most of their authority.
The DeSantis board of directors stated on Wednesday that Disney’s decision to maintain possession of their property was basically illegal and was carried out without adequate public notice.