DeSantis Claims Disney Has Vowed to ‘Wage a Jihad’ Against Florida Bill

Lisa Stump

DeSantis Claims Disney Has Vowed to ‘Wage a Jihad’ Against Florida Bill

In a recent exclusive interview with The American Conservative, Ron DeSantis proclaimed that Disney has vowed to “wage a jihad” against the Parental Rights in Education Act.

Ron DeSantis is currently embroiled in a conflict with The Walt Disney Company.
Credit: Bob Self/Florida Times-Union

DeSantis Interview

Ron DeSantis recently interviewed with The American Conservative, explaining his reasoning and opinions behind his current feud with The Walt Disney Company. He focused largely on their “special privileges” within a self-governing district. He also provided commentary on the perceived injustices to other companies in the region, indicating that the way the Walt Disney Company has been able to run itself without government interference for the last sixty years is unfair to other businesses.

During the interview, DeSantis discussed his opinions on the status of American corporations in general:

Those “shilling for Disney” need to come to terms with the fact that “corporate America is not your friend on a lot of things,” DeSantis added, and if you “defer to corporations, you’re going to end up seeing the economy and society go in ways that may not be advantageous for the majority of the people.

This is partially in reference to Disney’s historic self-governing of the Reedy Creek District, which the Walt Disney Company recently commented on. Disney went to their official community outreach site to share their view of the Reedy Creek Improvement District. Entitled “The Value of Disney Reedy Creek to Florida,” the new post was added to communicate their side of the story and how they believe Reedy Creek is beneficial to the state.

DeSantis also spent time defending his recent moves against the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which he recently replaced with his own handpicked members and renamed the Central Florida Tourism Oversight Board. According to The American Conservative, on the topic of Reedy Creek, DeSantis said:

“It is corporate welfare. We are under no obligation as a state to continue that arrangement.” Failing to act when a massive company with quasi-governmental powers vows “to wage a jihad against this bill legislatively means we’re subsidizing that activity” amounts to subsidizing that behavior, DeSantis suggested. “Why would we want to subsidize that?”

DeSantis explains that part of the reasoning behind his actions against Disney is their desire “to wage a jihad” against the Parental Rights in Education Act. Disney and DeSantis have been embroiled in a feud over Disney’s public commentary on this bill last year, which began while Bob Chapek was still CEO.

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He also reiterated that the movement to take over the Reedy Creek Improvement District resulted from Disney’s public stance.

“When Disney first came out against the bill [H.B. 1557],” DeSantis said, “people in the legislature started floating this idea of going after Reedy Creek.”

Disney Suing DeSantis & CFTOD Board

As part of the ongoing fight between DeSantis and Disney, the Walt Disney Company also filed a lawsuit at the federal level. In their lawsuit, Disney Parks & Resorts cites “a targeted campaign of government retaliation — orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech.” The plaintiff further argues that this chronology of events “threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights.”

Among other grievances, the Governor’s threat of new tolls and taxes, and the Board’s decision to void the company’s final agreement with the Reedy Creek Improvement District Board were included in the document.

The Walt Disney Company is suing for “declaratory and injunctive relief.” Injunctive relief forces a party to act in a certain way or prevents them from doing various things. An “injunction” is sometimes known as a restraining order.

What do you think of this interview? We’d like to see your opinions in the comments below.

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Author

  • Lisa Stump

    Lisa loves theme parks, black coffee, and her two Sphynx cats, Jareth and Figment. She believes the best day includes a trip around World Showcase during the EPCOT International Food & Wine festival! Her favorite attractions are Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and "it's a small world." She can be reached at lisa.stump@wdwnt.com.