Ron DeSantis vs. Disney: The ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Battle

Disney’s handling of the “Don’t Say Gay” controversy has become an ongoing issue in Florida, with reviewers on both the left and right questioning the company’s special role in state politics.

The Attacks have been led by Governor Ron DeSantis

Gov Ron DeSantis has initiated the attacks, claiming that it was past time to reconsider the company’s “special privileges,” including its entirely controlled fief, the Reedy Creek Progress District.

Ron DeSantis

Disney is also facing criticism from the left, which is concerned about corporate influence and angry at the company for making big contributions to Republican politicians, such as DeSantis. It all adds up to major headaches for the company’s three dozen lobby groups in Tallahassee, one of the most powerful states in the country.

What did Richard Foglesong and Jim Clark say about the incident?

With 70,000 staff members at its Orlando theme parks, Disney is the state’s largest single-site employer, and it is widely popular in the state. This has led some observers to believe that, regardless of what the governor says, the company’s desires in Florida are not put in jeopardy.


“I saw it as a warning shot,” said Richard Foglesong, author of “Married to the Mouse: Walt Disneyland and Orlando” and a long-time observer of Florida politics. “I assumed it would pass.” However, I would rethink that.” Others believe the situation will not improve anytime soon. Disney should be concerned, according to Jim Clark, a mythology professor at the University of Central Florida. “I’m not sure if cooler heads will win out,” Clark said on Tuesday. “It just keeps getting worse.”

Why the controversy didn’t fade out sooner?

The week before, after DeSantis agreed to sign the “Parental Rights in Education” bill, which prohibits classroom training on gender or sexual orientation in elementary grades, the controversy may have died down. After at first dropping to take a position, Disney backed down due to employee pressure and released a statement the week before vowing to fight the bill. But if Disney did think that was the end of the story, they were mistaken.


At news conferences and on “Fox & Friends,” DeSantis ripped into the company. The governor singled out two policies in particular as examples of Disney’s unwarranted clout: a phasing from a social media “censorship” law and the Reedy Creek district, promising to take a more “even-handed approach” in the future. “They’ve angered the left.” “Everyone else is mad at them,” DeSantis said during one of his public appearances. “They don’t have nearly as much clout as they once did.” To be honest, I believe it is beneficial to the state.”

A special session has been called

Even though his threats on Disney have grown more vocal and active, DeSantis appears to behave presidential aspirations and has already seen his status increase in conservative media circles. He might not be motivated to de-escalate the situation.

desantis_disneyThe fact that Florida Legislature is no longer in session is one major consideration working in Disney’s favour. A special session has already been called for later in the month, but any anti-Disney legislation would have to wait till March 2023 unless it is rewritten or a new session is called. This could allow a few of the current uproar to die down.

What is Antony Sabatini’s view on the incident?

U.s. representative Anthony Sabatini, a Republican from Central Florida, has encouraged DeSantis to call a special session of the Legislature this year to review Disney’s special benefits. In an interview, Sabatini said, “Disney had also basically launched a war on families.”


“This is something that needs to be taken seriously. They should be punished, in my opinion.” Sabatini wants to revisit all of Disney’s special protections, but the Reedy Creek District will be at the top of his list for elimination — or at the very least, significant reform.

The district was established by the Florida Legislature in 1967, and it pretty much covers 40 square miles of Orange and Osceola counties, including Walt Disney World and the other Disney parks. Disney has complete control over the public services, zoning, and land-use decisions as a result of the agreement. The district is divided into two “cities,” Lake Buena Vista and Bay Lake, which are home to a total of 53 people, all of whom are Disney staff members and their families. DeSantis joined the effort to repeal it after a few junior legislators raised the issue last week.

What are Republican Anna Eskamani’s views on the incident?

There’s been no objective overview of the district’s impact, according to Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orlando. “We don’t know whether Reedy Creek saves or costs the local government money,” she said. DeSantis’ approach, which Eskamani described as “punishment” and “expressive,” irritated her.


She isn’t, even so, a Disney supporter. Eskamani published her own collection of special Disney benefits she believes should be structured or reversed, including a $500 million tax incentive to relocate half a million jobs from California to a new regional hub in Lake Nona, Orlando. In an interview, Eskamani said, “There is a strong influence that brands and other businesses have utilised.”Here are a few legitimate examples if the governor desires to do anything about it.”


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About the author

Alex Jones

Alex Jones is a tech-savvy editor at World-Wire, renowned for his expertise in writing detailed technical articles and user-friendly how-to guides. With a background in Information Technology, he excels in demystifying complex tech topics. His work is highly valued for its accuracy and practicality, earning him awards like "Innovator in Tech Journalism" in 2023. Alex's role at World-Wire is pivotal in making technology accessible to a broad audience.

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