BREAKING: Disney sues DeSantis, Florida for 'relentless campaign to weaponize government power'

Disney's suit alleges "a targeted campaign of government retaliation."

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

On Wednesday, the Walt Disney Company sued Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, claiming that the Republican leader has waged a "relentless campaign to weaponize government power" over the company.

According to CNBC, the federal lawsuit alleges that the company’s business has been threatened after DeSantis embarked on a campaign to punish Disney over it’s political views, a campaign they say was "orchestrated at every step."

The move came moments after a board appointed by DeSantis to oversee government services at Disney World voted to nullify two agreements which gave Disney control over expansion at the 25,000-acre resort complex outside of Orlando, according to the New York Times.

Disney sued DeSantis, the five-member board, and other state officials, claiming "a targeted campaign of government retaliation."

The lawsuit said the action was the "latest strike,” saying the development contracts "laid the foundation for billions of Disney’s investment dollars and thousands of jobs."

"The government action was patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional," Disney claimed in the civil complaint in US District Court in northern Florida.

Tensions between Disney and DeSantis began last year after the company took a stance against the Republican governor's Parental Rights in Education Bill. The bill prevented the teaching of gender ideology and sexual orientation in kindergarten through third grade.

In a statement at the time, in which Disney referred to the bill as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, the company stated, "Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country."

In April of last year, DeSantis signed a bill ending the company’s self-governing status in the state. The Reedy Creek Improvement District, created in 1967, allows the company to self-govern by collecting taxes and providing emergency services, and also allows the company to pay impact fees for construction and build new structures without the approval of a local planning committee.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.


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