HomeUS News updateDeSantis cements takeover of Disney's special Florida district, new book reveals clash...

DeSantis cements takeover of Disney’s special Florida district, new book reveals clash with the company

As Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs into law stripping Disney of its longstanding self-governing status in the state, his new book reveals he warned the entertainment company about its political pursuits .

In “The Courage to Be Free: Florida’s Blueprint for America’s Revival”, DeSantis argues that former Disney CEO Bob Chapek “understood the risk the company faced” when he began teaching about sexuality and “gender ideology”. weighed against DeSantis’ efforts to ban For Florida students from Kindergarten to 3rd grade.

But Chapek was facing pressure from, among others, his predecessor — and eventual successor — Robert Iger as CEO.

Iger, DeSantis notes, had already publicly come out against the bill. “Somehow,” writes the Florida governor, Iger said the bill would “endanger vulnerable, young LGBTQ people.”

Guests walk past Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on October 1, 2021 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Guests walk past Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World on October 1, 2021 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel via Getty Images File

Opponents have warned about the consequences of the bill, including Lillian Bowen, a bisexual actress who starred on “Andi Mack”, Disney Channel’s first show to feature an LGBTQ character.

“When you’re in a society that’s constantly saying it’s wrong, I think we hide that from ourselves, too,” he tweeted,

DeSantis writes that Chapek eventually called him directly as he weighed how the company should respond. While DeSantis didn’t want Disney to get involved, the governor writes, Chapek said he was facing unprecedented pressure to weigh in against the bill.

“‘We’re under pressure all the time,’ he (Chapek) told me. ‘But this time is different. I’ve never seen anything like it before,'” DeSantis writes of his conversation with Chapek.

“Don’t get involved with this law,” DeSantis says he replied. “You’ll put yourself in an untenable position. People like me will say, ‘Gee, how come Disney never said anything about China, where they make a fortune?’

where things stand now

Fast forward to Monday: DeSantis announces his victory on Twitter What he called Disney’s “corporate empire” came to an end when he signed a bill taking the company’s special governing sector into law. For decades, the area, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, allowed Disney to make its own planning and zoning decisions. The company also had its own taxing and bonding authority.

Among those who will oversee the district, now known as the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, is Bridget Ziegler, co-founder and former co-director of Moms for Liberty, a conservative activist group based in Florida , who have helped transform the school board. Meetings on the political battlefield. Ziegler is also the wife of Christian Ziegler, Vice Chairman of the Florida Republican Party.

As for Chapek, he stepped down as Disney CEO in November and was replaced by Iger, who now serves as interim chief executive.

Disney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company had earlier said it was monitoring the law.

A spokesperson for the company said in early February, “Disney operates under many different models and jurisdictions around the world, and regardless of the outcome, we strive to provide the highest quality experience for the millions of guests who visit each year.” Committed to doing.”



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