Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Disney. Show all posts

02 August, 2023

Dark clouds forming over Walt Disney World, Florida. Equality banned.

There are very dark clouds forming over what used to be the most magical place on earth, Walt Disney World, following a bitter battle between the theme park and Governor Ron DeSantis

DeSantis is one of the key runners in the race to become the Republican Party nominee to run for President and has introduced a number of laws and regulations that fight equality and diversity in the state of Florida. He has been taking aim at Disney since the management of the global entertainment company publicly condemned DeSantis' state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades last year.

More recently DeSantis has pushed forward a law which forbids businesses, colleges and schools from giving training on certain racial concepts, such as the theory that people of a particular race are inherently racist, privileged or oppressed. It was in November that a federal judge called the law "positively dystopian."  and blocked its enforcement in colleges, universities and businesses.  

Back in the 1960s, the creation of a special district, known then as the Reedy Creek Improvement District, was key to Disney’s decision to build a theme park resort near Orlando. Having a separate government allowed the Disney company to provide zoning, fire protection, utilities and infrastructure services on its sprawling property. The district was controlled by Disney supporters for more than five decades. However, as pure vindictive punishment of Disney's stance, DeSantis took over the district through legislation passed by Republican lawmakers and appointed a new board of supervisors to oversee municipal services for the theme park, its hotels and services. The Disney Company then sued DeSantis and his five board appointees in federal court, citing the Florida governor had violated the company’s free speech rights by taking the retaliatory action.

Before the new board came in, Disney made agreements with previous oversight board members who were Disney supporters that stripped the new supervisors of their authority over design and development. The DeSantis-appointed members of the governing district have sued Disney in state court in a second lawsuit stemming from the district’s takeover, seeking to invalidate those agreements.

Now, the DeSantis-controlled governing district has abolished all diversity, equity and inclusion programmes. The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District said in a statement that its diversity, equity and inclusion committee would be eliminated, as would any job duties connected to it. Also axed were initiatives left over from when the district was controlled by Disney supporters, which awarded contracts based on goals of achieving racial or gender parity.

The move is a bitter blow to Disney, its employees and the wider Orlando population, which will see any resemblance of equality obliterated and so too the protections associated with it. Many see this as just another step in DeSantis's campaign to end equality in the state and make second-class citizens out of women, people of other ethnic backgrounds, and members of the GLBT+ community.  

DeSantis has previously mentioned that he wants to put a state prison next to Disney and is currently said to be investigating how to implement a massive tax hike on the district which would put an incredible financial burden on Disney, so much so, they would no longer be in a position to fight on.  

Disney has yet to comment on the news officially, nor has it commented on the rumours that officials from the Walt Disney Company have been looking for large areas of land for sale in a number of other states, including Georgia and South Carolina. Can Disney survive without Orlando, without a doubt, but can Orlando survive without Disney?