To punish Disney, which opposes a conservative law, Florida goes after Disney World

The amusement park could lose the favorable status it enjoys in Florida after Disney took a stand against the controversial “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The Florida legislature on Thursday passed a bill removing a favorable status enjoyed by the Disney World amusement park, the entertainment giant having defended certain progressive themes not appreciated by elected Republicans.

The text was now to be signed into law by conservative Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, whose relations with Disney have soured recently, even though the company acts as a tourist magnet in his sunny state.

Ron DeSantis is upset that Bob Chapek, CEO of Disney, has spoken out publicly against a law he initiated, prohibiting teaching subjects related to sexual orientation or gender identity at school. ‘primary school. This text is nicknamed by its opponents “Don’t say gay” (“Don’t say ‘gay'”).

Each with a Republican majority, the two houses of parliament sitting in the capital Tallahassee voted for the bill: the Senate on Wednesday by 23 votes against 16, followed by the House of Representatives on Thursday by 70 votes against 38. A double vote synonymous with setbacks for Disney, which remains an economic heavyweight in the region.

55 years of favorable status

The special status in the crosshairs of the text was granted to Disney at the time of the construction of the Disney World leisure site in the 1960s. It offers the entertainment giant a large autonomy of local management and exempts it from most of the state regulations.

This amusement park near Orlando is among the most visited in the world and the Disney brand remains a favorite with Americans. But, mired in this controversy, the giant is seeing an accumulation of criticism which it would have done well, while the title on the stock market fell 2.4% after the vote, ending at the lowest in months.

Unsolvable equation

The controversy surrounding Ron DeSantis’ law on LGBT issues in schools has proven to be a headache for Disney after an internal memo leaked showing Bob Chapek was reluctant to take a stand on the law. Employees of the group then demonstrated in March against the group’s “apathy” and calls for a boycott began to circulate on social networks, eventually leading the CEO to declare against the law. But, with the current return of the pendulum, the criticisms are now the strongest on the Republican side.

“Disney isn’t saying a word about dictatorship in China because it would cost it billions of dollars. But it has no problem using its corporate power to lie about laws democratically passed by lawmakers in Florida. “, estimated this week the senator Marco Rubio, a tenor republican.

As for Randy Fine, an elected Republican at the forefront of the parliamentary initiative aimed at limiting the exemption status of Disney World, he recalled that Disney was only a “guest” in Florida.

Relations have not always been strained between Ron DeSantis and Disney, which notably employs more than 75,000 people at Disney World and had contributed financially to the Republican candidate’s campaign, not to mention the Democratic camp. But they have now turned sour and the giant has suspended these electoral financings.

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To punish Disney, which opposes a conservative law, Florida goes after Disney World


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