Walt Disney Co. is suing Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other state officials, alleging that they have engaged in a political effort to hurt its business.
“Disney regrets that it has come to this,” the company said in the lawsuit, according to NBC News. “But having exhausted efforts to seek a resolution, the Company is left with no choice but to file this lawsuit to protect its cast members, guests, and local development partners from a relentless campaign to weaponize government power against Disney in retaliation for expressing a political viewpoint unpopular with certain State officials.”
The lawsuit is a dramatic escalation in the feud between Disney and DeSantis that began last year when the company’s then CEO Bob Chapek criticized state officials after they passed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill that limits classroom discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity.
The lawsuit was filed shortly after a local governing board, appointed by DeSantis to take control over Disney’s Orlando-area parks, passed a resolution to undo a deal that allowed the Walt Disney World theme park and resort to keep control over much of its business operations in Florida, NBC reported.