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Mickey Mouse Vs Conservative America: Why Disney Is Suing Florida

This strange saga has twists and turns, culminating in Disney taking Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis to court. 

On today’s The Briefing, we speak to The Guardian writer Richard Luscombe based in Florida, on why one man’s beef with a corporation in his state could have much broader implications.

Click the link below and listen the full episode:

In the late 60s, Walt Disney, The creator of Mickey Mouse and founder of Disneyland and Walt Disney World, introduced his theme parks to Florida, as the state wanted him to bring the business. 

Luscombe said, as a sweetener, Disney was allowed to set up “its special taxing district, which is essentially a local authority of its own running.”

It gets to appoint its own members. It has the authority to raise taxes and approve developments,”

he said.

The latest action in a year-long battle started when Disney publicly criticised Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” laws.

According to the National Educational Association, the “Don’t Say Gay Law” aims to

prohibit classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or a specified manner.”

As Florida’s biggest private employer with many cast members from the LGBTQ+ community, those employees pressured Disney to speak out against the law. 

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In retaliation, DeSantis stripped Disney of its 56-year-long self-governing status and even threatened to open a prison near its theme park.  

But before the law took effect, Disney signed a deal with its outgoing board allowing it to retain development rights on the 40-square mile district. The deal also included covenants that give Disney the final say on any alterations to the property.

It’s very likely, almost certainly felt that none of this would have got any of the attention that it did. Had Ron DeSantis not been considered the most likely rival to challenge Donald Trump for the Republican nomination for president in 2024.”

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