(DailyVantage.com) – Disney CEO Bob Iger accused Florida Governor Ron DeSantis of being both anti-business and anti-Florida during a meeting on April 3 after DeSantis ordered an investigation to determine whether Disney had committed any legal violations in its attempts to escape greater state control.
In response to DeSantis’ ongoing attempts to limit the power of the entertainment giant in Florida, Iger reportedly accused DeSantis’ policies of being “not just anti-Florida, but anti-business.”
During the meeting, Iger also reportedly said that the company was going through a difficult time and argued that businesses, like individuals, should have a right to free speech.
Due to the popularity of the Walt Disney World Resort — which is the largest tourist attraction in Florida and a major contributor to Florida’s economy — Disney has long been given unrivalled powers in the state. However, the relationship between Disney and Florida has weakened in recent years.
DeSantis and Disney became entangled in conflict after the governor signed the Parental Rights in Education Act — also known by critics as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill — which prohibits teachers from educating children under the age of 10 about “gender identity” and “sexual orientation.”
After Disney expressed vocal opposition to DeSantis’ bill, sparking a feud between the two parties, DeSantis signed a separate bill replacing Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District — a special district created in 1967 to govern the land where Walt Disney World was located — with a new Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
While the replacement of the Reedy Creek Improvement District was intended to minimize Disney’s unprecedented power in the region, Disney managed to maintain much of its power through legal means and critics of DeSantis praised Disney for having “checkmated” the governor through the use of a loophole.
DeSantis responded on April 3 by directing the Chief Inspector General of Florida, Melinda Miguel, to investigate whether Disney had committed any “legal or ethical violations.” In his letter, DeSantis also accused Disney of attempting to defy Florida’s government and “the will” of Florida’s citizens.
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