Disney sues Ron DeSantis as it accuses Florida governor of waging political war on Mouse House
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Disney has filed legal action against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, accusing the Republican of organizing a campaign of 'government retaliation' against the Mouse House.
The two sides have been at loggerheads since Disney criticized a state law banning schoolroom discussions of sexual orientation or gender identity.
But now things have reached boiling point after government officials nullified a development deal for Disney's Florida theme park.
Disney officials lashed out at DeSantis' attempts to assert control over its operations, claiming the Florida Governor's actions threatened its business and violated its constitutional rights.
In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Florida, the company's parks division said as per CNBC: "Disney regrets it has come to this, but having exhausted efforts to seek a resolution, the company is left with no choice but to file this lawsuit to protect its cast members, guests, and local development partners from a relentless campaign to weaponize government power against Disney in retaliation for expressing a political viewpoint unpopular with certain state officials."
The suit was filed on the same day a hand-picked board of supervisors, chosen by DeSantis to take control over the Orlando parks, moved to undo a development deal it claims Disney made in order to thwart its power, CNBC reports.
That panel unanimously declared the deal to be 'void and unenforceable'.
The deal was approved shortly before DeSantis replaced the Disney-approved board with his own gaggle of hand-picked supervisors.
But, Disney has fought back, calling the move the 'latest strike' against the Mouse House.
Disney argues the development 'laid the foundation for billions of Disney’s investment dollars and thousands of jobs'.
Disney said in their lawsuit against Florida's Governor: "The government action was patently retaliatory, patently anti-business, and patently unconstitutional."
"There is no room for disagreement about what happened here: Disney expressed its opinion on state legislation and was then punished by the State for doing so," the lawsuit continued.
Disney is now asking the courts to rule that the board chosen by DeSantis has taken steps that are unlawful and unenforceable.
But DeSantis' office has suggested the stoush is not about retaliation over Disney's LGBTIQ+ stance, but instead on the Mouse House's special tax and governance privileges.
DeSantis’ communications director Taryn Fenske told the BBC: "This lawsuit is yet another unfortunate example of their hope to undermine the will of the Florida voters and operate outside the bounds of the law."