Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has once again urged Disney to withdraw its lawsuit against him and other state officials, stating his belief that the entertainment giant is bound to be unsuccessful in the legal battle. DeSantis, who is running for president as a Republican candidate, shared his perspective during an interview with CNBC. He offered advice to Disney CEO Bob Iger regarding their ongoing public dispute, which originated during the tenure of former Disney chief Bob Chapek.
When asked about what he would convey to Iger, DeSantis emphasized the importance of returning to Disney’s core strengths, asserting that it would be the right business decision. He further added, “We’ve already moved forward, they’re suing the state of Florida, and they are going to lose that lawsuit. So, my advice would be to drop the lawsuit.”
DeSantis, who has personal ties to Disney due to his wedding at Walt Disney World, acknowledged that the company has faced challenges beyond their conflict with Florida. He noted that parents’ confidence in Disney’s alignment with their values has wavered from the traditional stance the company held.
While DeSantis acknowledged previous collaborations with Disney, he emphasized the need for fair treatment of all companies. He pointed out that competitors like Universal and SeaWorld have not received similar privileges and expressed his commitment to a level playing field, without granting special favors to any single corporation.
The feud between DeSantis and Disney began when the company publicly opposed Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, colloquially known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which restricts conversations about gender identity or sexual orientation in lower-grade classrooms. In response, DeSantis initiated the establishment of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD), limiting Disney’s autonomous control over its park’s development.
Despite Disney’s legal actions against DeSantis and other officials, the governor remains confident that the lawsuit lacks substance and has asked a federal judge to dismiss it. As the tension between DeSantis and Disney persists, the outcome of this legal battle will undoubtedly have significant implications for both the political and corporate landscapes.