Florida declares war on the ‘Disney Republic’
in the middle of a fierce political and cultural battle, the so-called “Disney Republic” has come to an end. The Florida Legislature and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis –a Donald Trump favorite— they revoked the special privileges enjoyed by the company for 55 years and no longer have autonomy on the land where its most emblematic amusement park is located.
The initiative has generated enormous controversy since it involves one of Florida’s largest employersa world-renowned company and the main tourist attraction of the Sunshine State and the Palms.
Experts point out that the fight is part of the current “culture war” in the United States and critics say DeSantis doesn’t just watch disney wreck but to impose himself as “the king of Florida” and to support his candidacy for the next presidential.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who is seeking to bankrupt Disney. Photo: AP
For months, Republicans have been targeting Democratic Media, Business and Politicians those they accuse of wanting to impose their progressive ideology on others. What’s better than a fight with a “liberal” enemy known worldwide ?
DeSantis signed legislation passed by the Republican-dominated Legislature this week that strips Disney of special self-governance privileges it has had for more than 55 years, allowing it to independently monitor your park area theme.
Until now, Disney has operated as if it were a county, with the ability to impose its own taxes in this area, pass ordinances, plan construction, and have its own system of security and services such as water and garbage treatment, privileges granted in 1967 for Disney to set up its park on the outskirts of Orlando.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Universal. Photo Universal Orlando Resort
But, by the new law, as of June 1, these prerogatives they will be deleted. Control now likely rests with Orange and Osceola counties, where the theme parks are located.
“Don’t Say Gay”
The row between DeSantis and Disney began after the company openly opposed legislation dubbed by critics “Don’t Say Gay” pushed by the governor and Republicans.
This initiative limits teaching sexuality and gender issues from kindergarten to third grade and allows parents to sue schools and teachers violate this premise.
Initially, Disney had not spoken out on this law, which caused a sting in the most liberal sectors of the state. But finally, under pressure from a large part of its 75,000 employeesthe company’s CEO, Bob Chapek, publicly opposed it.
DeSantis’ reaction was quick: “If Disney wants to fight, they picked the wrong guy,” he wrote in a fundraising email. Meanwhile, on the Fox network, they began to denounce that the company has “a sex diary for 6-year-olds” y el hashtag #BoycottDisney it had millions of tweets and was trending for several days. The “Disney Woke” was underway.
Like the Vatican in Rome
Richard Foglesong, professor emeritus at Rollins College and author of “Married to the Mouse: Walt Disney World and Orlando,” said Bugle that “Disney has some sort of private government like the Vatican in Rome”.
“Disney has a kind of private government like the Vatican in Rome.” Photo: AP
He added: “I call it a mouse-eared Vatican.” However, the expert adds, “I don’t think that’s what Governor DeSantis is concerned about. He just wants to punish Disney to disagree with him on the issue of gay rights.
DeSantis is a dolphin of Trump and a serious candidate for the presidency for the next elections. With a confrontational and direct style, he is one of the governors who resisted the use of the chinstrap and his state is currently home to the former president, settled in his home in Mar-a-Lago.
Charlie Crist, who served as Governor of Florida from 2007-2011 and is running to succeed DeSantis, tweeted:
DeSantis is a successor to Trump and a serious presidential candidate for the next election. Photo: AFP
“Attacking Disney, threatening to harm the economic potential of our state that creates so many jobs and generates so many tourism dollars it’s a crazy move wherever you look. Ron is a threat to our state’s economy and he has to leave in November,” he said. He also said that DeSantis seems to want to become “the king of Florida.”
For the expert Foglesong “it is a problem in the so-called culture war. Republicans use it to attack some big corporations and it can damage the image of progressive companies like the Disney corporation. It is Something new because normally the Republican Party supports big business.
Disney and its world of blonde princesses awaiting the rescue of their prince charming had to adapt to new times in a delicate balance.
These last years promotion of racial and gender diversity of its protagonists, it eliminated scenes of slavery in games such as Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as deleted the formula “ladies and gentlemen” of the final salute before the fireworks and replaced it with “dreamers of all ages”among other reforms.
But speaking out against the law in schools triggered the wrath of conservatives.
Jim Clark, a history professor at the University of Central Florida, said Bugle that “Governor DeSantis wanted to teach Disney and the company a lesson. paid a high price for defying the governor.
The expert attributes a dimension to it that goes beyond Florida: “His attack on Disney is part of the culture wars that are being waged in the United States. Now a national problem Because Governor DeSantis is a potential presidential candidate, Disney is one of the most well-known companies in the world, and the so-called “don’t say gay” has become a major issue.
The impact of the law
Asked about the possible impact of this new law on Disney’s revenue or image, Clark said, “I don’t think it will impact Disney’s finances. They are a big business and can absorb any financial damage this may cause.
But he adds: “As for his image, that’s a good point. Disney has angered both sides in the “Don’t Say Gay” debate and definitely dealt a blow to its image. It wants to be a place without politics and is now in the middle of a political war”.
Chapek, the company’s CEO, told a shareholder meeting that he believed “when someone walks through the gates of our parks, put aside your differences and look at his shared belief in the magic, hopes, dreams and imagination of Disney.
However, he warned how difficult it is to manage today in the United States“between the extreme polarization of political points of view”.