When Ron DeSantis went after Disney for having the temerity to speak out against his bigoted “Don’t Say Gay” law, stripping the theme park of its self-governing status and installing his own hand-selected board of conservatives to run its oversight board, he clearly thought, as many a petty tyrant in his position would, that he was going to crush the company, and prevent it from ever crossing him again. But as Disney has made incredibly clear, ole Ronny-boy thought wrong!
Less than a month after suing the Florida governor and accusing him of waging a “targeted campaign of government retaliation,” Disney on Thursday pulled out of a roughly $1 billion investment in the state. It had been set to build an office complex in Orlando, which “would have brought more than 2,000 Disney jobs to the region, with $120,000 as the average salary,” The New York Times reported, citing an estimate from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. That’s the sort of thing most local politicians love, but apparently, for DeSantis, making sure teachers can’t say the word gay in front of students was more important. In an email to employees seen by the Times, Josh D’Amaro, Disney’s theme park and consumer products chairman, said, “changing business conditions” was the reason the project was being cancelled, adding, “I remain optimistic about the direction of our Walt Disney World business.” He also noted that the company still plans to spend $17 billion on construction at Disney World over the next decade—and create an estimated $13,000 jobs— but caveated it with “I hope we’re able to.” Which, it would seem, was a clear message to the governor that some or all of it could go away if he doesn’t stop f–king around.
Last month, after DeSantis publicly mused about building a prison complex next to the Orlando theme park, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie opined: “Where are we headed here now, that if you express disagreement in this country, the government is allowed to punish you? To me, that’s what I always thought liberals did.” (Christie obviously did not mention his own alleged brush with retaliating against people who have differing opinions.) In its lawsuit, Disney wrote: “In America, the government cannot punish you for speaking your mind.”
A spokesman for DeSantis told the Times in an email: “Disney announced the possibility of a Lake Nona campus nearly two years ago. Nothing ever came of the project, and the state was unsure whether it would come to fruition. Given the company’s financial straits, falling market cap, and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.”
Should DeSantis elaborate further, we presume it will be to say something stupid like, “There are plenty of other companies who want to do business in Florida who don’t support indoctrinating children.”
Marjorie Taylor Greene simultaneously insists she’s not a white supremacist while claiming to feel threatened by a Black man (whom she was smiling at and laughing with yesterday)
Jamaal Bowman’s response to her “reckless” and “dangerous” remarks: “She knows what she’s doing”