The Walt Disney Company responded Monday to the state of Florida’s motion to get its lawsuit dismissed over what the company says is a violation of its free speech rights.
The court filing in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida says that Gov. Ron DeSantis “and his allies are engaged in an ongoing constitutional mutiny,” adding that the state openly rejects the First Amendment rule that a state cannot use official powers to punish opposing political views.
New details have emerged about the legal battle between the state of Florida and the Walt Disney Company after the presiding judge recused himself from the case.
U.S. Judge Allen Winsor (appointed by former President Donald Trump) will take over the case after U.S. Judge Mark Walker (a former President Barack Obama appointee) recused himself on Thursday. On Friday, Winsor issued an order setting a deadline for June 26 for the state of Florida to file a motion to dismiss the case and gave a deadline of July 26 for Disney to file a counter filing.
A lot of people are upset with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, especially as he launches his presidential bid.
Start with America’s wokest corporate titans. While perched in a Los Angeles County rapidly losing population and companies to Florida, Disney CEO Bob Iger’s company alleged DeSantis is “weaponizing the power of government to punish private business.”
The Walt Disney Company has canceled plans to build a $1 billion installation in Florida amid an ongoing legal and political fight with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The project, known as the Lake Nona Town Center, included plans to build office space for the company near Orlando, Florida, and would have created upwards of 2,000 jobs with an average salary of $120,000 a year, according to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity. Its cancellation was announced in an email to employees by Disney’s chairman of Parks and Resorts, Josh D’Amaro, on Thursday.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida fired back at Republican critics of his efforts to rein in big businesses, calling them “corporatists.”
DeSantis signed legislation May 2 that prohibited state agencies and local governments from considering Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors when issuing bonds, barred banks from considering “social credit” when making loan decisions and prohibited discrimination on the basis of political, social or religious ideology. Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley and former President Donald Trump have criticized DeSantis, a potential 2024 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, over the feud with Disney that started after DeSantis signed parental rights legislation in March 2022 over the company’s opposition.
Disney is reportedly expected to lay off thousands of people this week in its largest round of planned layoffs yet as the company looks to cut corporate costs.
The company will cut 4,000 jobs through Thursday, as it looks to lay off 7,000 workers overall, according to multiple media reports.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed a bill ending the Walt Disney Company’s special self-governing status.
“Allowing a corporation to control its own government is bad policy, especially when the corporation makes decisions that impact an entire region,” DeSantis said in an announcement about the new law, which came largely in response to Disney’s advocacy against Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill, called the “Don’t say gay bill” by critics.
America is currently in the midst of a broader political realignment. The political Left, which once upon a time purported to stand for the forgotten “little guy” against the titans of Big Business, has in recent years decided that Big Business is actually an ally of convenience in its long Gramsci-an “march” through the institutions. Chris Rufo has perhaps demonstrated this trend better than anyone else.
And the political Right, whose once-instinctive neoliberal proclivities made it a convenient ally for Big Business, is currently rethinking its approach to political economy in general, as well as its specific relationship to culturally leftist multinational corporations. The most tangible recent expression of this rethinking has been Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ crippling punishment of The Walt Disney Company for its coming out on behalf of sexually grooming innocent children in the Sunshine State.
The Walt Disney Company is staying silent following reports it helps the children of its employees with sex change procedures through its benefits program.
A leaked video shared by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo Thursday purportedly showed a Disney internal meeting in which a man explained Disney’s efforts to help employees “express their gender” at the company. Disney has not publicly addressed its efforts to help employees medically transition their children to the opposite sex following the release of the video, and did not respond to multiple requests for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation.
Walt Disney established the Disney Company in 1923 for the sole purpose of entertaining children with fun-loving characters. It is one of the most iconic companies in the world, loved by most families. Disney’s theme parks are an important vacation attraction for most families located on three continents. Disney is the leading producer of family movies.
Disney’s new CEO Bob Chapek is now transforming Disney into Woke-Disney with his opposition to what the left mendaciously calls “Don’t Say Gay,” a Florida law forbidding public schools from teaching inappropriate gender identity or sexual orientation in grades K-3. The law does not use the word gay.
One day after the Disney CEO came against the Parental Rights in Education bill, Gov. Ron DeSantis responded with references to China and Woke corporations.
On Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek addressed the parental rights legislation at a shareholders meeting by saying, “I know that many are upset that we did not speak out against the bill. We were opposed to the bill from the outset, but we chose not to take a public position on it because we felt we could be more effective working behind the scenes. …”
Chapek said in a call to Governor DeSantis he expressed his disappointment and “concern that if the legislation becomes law it could be used to target LGBTQ+ kids and families.
Chapek also noted that Disney is “reassessing our approach to advocacy, including political giving in Florida and beyond.”
Late Thursday Gov. DeSantis told supporters in Boca Raton there is “zero” chance he’s going to reverse his position on disallowing the instruction of “transgenderism in kindergarten classrooms.”
And then DeSantis responded to Chapek’s comments
On Wednesday, Disney CEO Bob Chapek informed shareholders at the company’s annual meeting that Disney opposes the Parental Rights in Education legislation and that the actions by the Florida legislature could impact future political donations.
Critics of the bill – which passed the Senate and the House and awaits action by Governor DeSantis – have repeatedly mischaracterized provisions in the legislation while using the “Don’t Say Gay” moniker to rally opposition among progressives and the LGBTQ community.
Disney has been criticized in the national media and by elected officials in Florida.
Florida Representative Anna V. Eskamami, who represents parts of Orlando, called on “the Walt Disney Company to STOP donating to the campaigns of state lawmakers that sponsor anti-LGBTQ+bills, like the “Don’t Say Gay” bill…”
At the close of his prepared remarks to shareholders, Chapek said, “I’d like to take moment to address some concerns I’ve heard from many about the legislation impacting the LGBTQ+ community in Florida.”
A new report claims the Walt Disney Company is pushing “critical race theory” on its employees as part of an internal training program, teaching them “race consciousness” and other concepts to address “systemic racism” in the U.S.
Manhattan Institute fellow Christopher Rufo on Friday published what he says are a “trove of whistleblower documents” detailing a program titled “Reimagine Tomorrow.”
Rudo also provides in his report what he says are primary-source documents that appear to be pages of a training manual.