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DeSantis Defends Stripping Disney Of Its Special Status In Scathing WSJ Op-Ed

The Governor of Florida didn’t just take aim at the Walt Disney Corporation and its wokescold employees, he blasted the hypocritical Left who rail against Big Business interfering in politics while cheering on Disney’s political activism.

On Monday, Gov. DeSantis signed a bill that would take back control of municipal services and development for the special zone that encompasses Walt Disney World in Central Florida.

“The corporate kingdom finally comes to an end. There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day,” said Governor Ron DeSantis at the bill signing ceremony on Monday.

DeSantis has been slammed by the Left — and some on the Right — for the bill stripping Disney of its special status in the state as a retaliation for the company’s vocal opposition to Florida’s “Parental Rights In Education Act” which critics dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill.

That bill prohibited discussions of sexuality and gender ideology for students in grades K-3 and that any instruction on those topics in higher grades was age-appropriate. Predictably, the Groomer Left lost its mind.

When activists within Disney were caught on video in an all-hands meeting discussing the new Florida bill and admitting that they were deliberately “queering” programming for children, the gloves came off.

“For more than 50 years, the state of Florida put Disney on a pedestal,” writes Gov. DeSantis in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece published on Tuesday. “Disney no longer has its own government. It has to live under the same laws as Universal Studios, SeaWorld and every other company in our state and is still on the hook for the old district’s municipal debt.”

Democrats opposed the move of a Republican Governor daring to actually wield power after a monumental re-election victory by whining that the bill would prohibit political dissent by businesses through the threat of possible retribution. DeSantis shot back saying that Disney was siding with Democrats “to achieve through corporate power what it can’t get at the ballot box.”

Disney’s special arrangement, which dates to 1967, was an indefensible example of corporate welfare. It provided the company with favorable tax treatment, including the ability to assess its own property valuations and to enjoy the benefits of regional infrastructure improvements without paying taxes toward the projects. It exempted Disney from Florida’s building and fire-prevention codes. It even allowed Disney to build a nuclear power plant and to use eminent domain to seize private property outside the district’s boundaries. While special districts are common in Florida, Disney’s deal was conspicuous in the massive benefits it conferred. Disney’s self-governing status endured because the company’s unrivaled political power in Florida made its arrangement virtually untouchable.
For more than 50 years, the state of Florida put Disney on a pedestal. That all changed last year, when left-wing activists working at the company’s headquarters in Burbank, Calif., pressured Disney to oppose Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act. The legislation bans classroom instruction on sexuality and gender ideology in kindergarten through third grade and requires that sex instruction in other grades be age-appropriate. Disney executives were seen on videos boasting about the company’s plans to inject sexuality into its programming for children.
Democrats often rail about corporations’ nefarious influence over politics and oppose favorable exceptions for big companies. Yet they supported keeping Disney’s special self-governing status. This confirms how much the modern left has jettisoned principle in favor of power. As long as large corporations help advance the left’s woke agenda, the left is willing to do their bidding.
Source: Wall Street Journal

Gov. DeSantis appeared on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” to discuss the end of the “Corporate Kingdom” in the Free State of Florida.

“Leaders must stand up and fight back when big corporations make the mistake, as Disney did, of using their economic might to advance a political agenda,” wrote DeSantis in the WSJ op-ed. “We are making Florida the state where the economy flourishes because we are the state where woke goes to die.”

The only way to say that any better is on a t-shirt:

Here is the video of the signing ceremony on Monday:


DeSantis, Ron. “Why I Stood Up to Disney.” Wall Street Journal. February 28, 2023. (Archived link:

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ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker