Will DeSantis be happy if Disney pushes back, and Florida’s economy suffers?

April 5, 2022

Governor Ron DeSantis, who is running for reelection this year, has gone after Disney, the state’s largest and most powerful employer saying he is “receptive” to the state legislature revoking special privileges the company’s received—but he refused to go after the corporate tax breaks Disney gets from the state government. Disney is a multi-national corporation who has been essentially nonpartisan and non-ideological when it comes to its donations. Even though the recent bill quietly targeting the LGBTQ community is said by Republicans to have the intention to keep parents “in the know” about what is going on in school classrooms, the politicization of LGBTQ rights and heightened scrutiny of what children are taught in schools is being used to polarize U.S. citizens and keep DeSantis in the news, as he builds a platform to his political aspirations.

Real concern for children?

The hypocrisy within is that parents are concerned for their children’s welfare in the environment where they are learning, but that environment may be considered a safe zone for kids who do not have a stable or welcoming environment at home. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people according to 2020 CDC statistics, and LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to seriously consider suicide.

  • Disney’s Chief Executive Bob Chapek reversed course on his policy of staying out of politics and stepped into the debate over a controversial education bill in Florida that critics say targets LGBTQ youth. Mr. Chapek said at the company’s annual meeting that he had told Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis he was concerned about the bill’s potential consequences for LGBTQ children.
  • Robert Iger, the former CEO of Disney is opposed to the headline-making Florida law, calling the issue a matter of “right and wrong.”

Supporting employees.

Disney employs many people who are members and advocates of the LGBTQ community across Florida that include parents, students, and teachers. The HB 1557 bill allows the potential for parents’ litigious action against schools and teachers to receive damages, fees, and court costs if schools and teachers violate the law. Should Floridians and all Americans be concerned about our public educational institutions being banned from teaching about subjects that are based on current real-life activities of citizens, without prejudice to political affiliation, but also when a multi-national corporation speaks out in support of its employees and their right to be concerned about a bill specifically targeting the communities of which many of them are a part.

Fractured communities and litigation.

Politics has taken people on both sides of recent issues hostage and continues to fracture communities.  Will Florida’s economy be fractured by the dispute between its governor and Disney? There are so many legal issues to explore in this dispute, employer protections, employee lawsuits, laws surrounding Florida public schools, civil litigation, and tax laws.


  1. Florida Gov. DeSantis Wants To Punish Disney—But Won’t Go After Its Corporate Tax Breaks (forbes.com)
  2. Ex-Disney CEO Bob Iger speaks out on ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law (nypost.com)
  3. Disney Chief Bob Chapek Takes Stand on Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Bill – WSJ
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