DeSantis’ Peculiar War on Disney


Lea Flavier

From getting married at Disney World to attempting to punish the company for condemning his newly signed bill, Florida governor Ron DeSantis engages in a new kind of war with Disney. Left-leaning Disney and right-leaning Florida may not always seem to agree with each other in terms of the affairs of the state but its political waters have stayed calm until DeSantis signed his Don’t Say Gay bill into law, March of last year. The bill restricts the topic of gender identity and sexual orientation in the classroom in some elementary grade levels. While the law was celebrated by conservative republicans, it found itself under fire within liberal democratic circles and LGBTQIA+ activists. Eventually, Disney succumbed to the pressure from its employees and park-goers and declared its opposition against DeSantis’s bill. With circulating rumors of DeSantis’ desire to run as the next president of The United States, many believe his next course of action regarding Disney was too ambitious. 

Last week, the feud between DeSantis and Disney intensified when the entertainment giant filed a lawsuit against the governor, before his board decided to counter the action with another lawsuit. Not only did DeSantis unnecessarily escalate the situation, but truly, a win against Disney would still count as a major loss for the Florida governor. For one, this distracts his voters from his political competency, especially as he has accumulated a decent track record during his leadership. With Disney and DeSantis on the headlines, it would permanently damage his image as a reliable, level-headed politician. Moreover, it’s peculiar that among all the companies that openly condemn his bill, he decided to pick his fight with his state’s biggest money maker and employer. Businesses such as Starbucks, Pinterest, and Nordstrom are only a few of forty five companies that strongly disagree with the signing of the legislation. From all forty five, Disney remains significant as it houses more than seventy-thousand employees and rack in traction for Florida every year. 

It’s unclear what DeSantis’ goal is with his war against Disney. Losing means making an embarrassment for his name, and looking weak compared to his political rivals. Winning only means hurting his state, as the only punishments Disney can receive from this situation is controlling the former Reedy Creek District to make it harder for the company to build things there, as well as making the company spend less money on Florida or convincing his supporters to stop going to the park. Either way, what DeSantis would only truly win is his ego back.