In an interview with CNBC’s Brian Sullivan Monday, Ron DeSantis, 2024 Presidential candidate and current Governor of Florida, expressed his views on many hot-button topics, including his feud with Disney. Over the course of the half-hour-long interview at the Governor’s mansion in Tallahassee, Sullivan discussed a series of political points; however, it was their conversation around the situation with The Walt Disney Company that provoked a more amicable response than we have previously seen. “Let’s move forward” was the overall sentiment of the topic, with DeSantis saying that, at this point, he has moved on.
When asked by Sullivan if he had been in contact with Disney’s CEO Bob Iger, DeSantis said he hadn’t. The CSNBC correspondent pressed further, asking DeSantis questions about what he would say to Iger if he were to pick up the phone right now, pointing out that the current Disney CEO wasn’t the man in charge at the time when this feud was first fuelled over a controversial bill passed more than a year ago. The Florida Governor was quick to reply, “What I would say is, drop the lawsuit.”
“So all we want to do is treat everybody the same and let’s move forward. I’m totally fine with that. But I’m not fine with giving extraordinary privileges, you know, to one special company at the exclusion of everybody else,” said Governor DeSantis referring to the changes made to Disney’s special tax district, which had been in operation since the 1960s. Disney claims that the actions of DeSantis and his colleagues are in direct retaliation to the company’s public stance (at the time led by former CEO Bob Chapek) on the (then) new legislation that limited classroom discussion of gender and sexual orientation.
The Florida Governor brushed over the connection, claiming that this was one of many problems Disney was facing as parents had “lost confidence” in the company. Mentioning his own wedding at the Walt Disney World Resort, DeSantis maintains he is not “opposed” to Disney. “No one has made Disney more money recently than me,” said DeSantis referring to the ability of the Walt Disney World theme parks to remain open in Florida at a time when California parks were forced to close during COVID-19 lockdowns.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
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