UPDATE 1:00 pm: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ office on Disney lawsuit:
We are unaware of any legal right that a company has to operate its own government or maintain special privileges not held by other businesses in the state. 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.
The Walt Disney Company officially filed a First Amendment lawsuit against Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD).
The documents submitted by Disney state that “Governor DeSantis and his allies paid no mind to the governing structure that facilitated Reedy Creek’s successful development until one year ago, when the Governor decided to target Disney.”
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 complaint describes the actions taken by DeSantis as,
A targeted campaign of government retaliation—orchestrated at every step by Governor DeSantis as punishment for Disney’s protected speech—now threatens Disney’s business operations, jeopardizes its economic future in the region, and violates its constitutional rights.
In the complaint, Disney states that they regret “that 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.”
Each of the five hand-picked members of the CFTOD is named in the complaint as being sued in their “official capacity.”
You can read the full complaint below.
Senior Editor for the DIS and DCL Fan | Disney Vacation Club Member | Thrilled to have been a '13/'14 Disney Parks Moms Panelist (now planDisney) | Lover of all things Disney; the Magic of Disneyland, Walt Disney World, and Disney Cruise Line | ºoº