Report: Disney Weakened By “Don’t Say Gay” Fight, Reedy Creek Improvement District Likely To Be Controlled by State

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A new report from Variety does an apt job of framing what has happened since Disney CEO Bob Chapek initially choose to stay silent on the “Don’t Say Gay” bill and how the fight with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has left the company weakened compared to its historical standing in the state.

In the report, Variety goes through public documents to discover that the most likely scenario of the DeSantis bill to dismantle the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) is a successor agency that will include members from the political sphere that will have a say in how the district is run. According to the report, two state officials were sent to Orlando to be presented with a PowerPoint by the Reedy Creek Improvement District that outlined the district’s responsibilities. It was reported that DeSantis signed the bill to dismantle the district without any plan on how to replace it, but that a plan has been formed to create a new district that will come with some cosmetic changes (perhaps a renaming as well), but will leave RCID largely unchanged.

Also at hand is the fact that Disney has largely gone silent after Chapek promised more action in support of the LGBTQIA+ community. Disney reportedly has 38 lobbyists under its control, but the report details how Disney simply doesn’t hold as much power as it once did. Even less so, perhaps, after halting donations that would typically ignore the political aisle. DeSantis is currently favored to win reelection as Florida Governor, and the Variety report notes that Disney’s strategy of waiting him out simply might not be viable any longer. Peter Schorsch, the publisher of Florida Politics, says that Disney likely has “a decade of problems” stemming from the fight with DeSantis over the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

The road to dismantling the Reedy Creek Improvement District is a winding one, but one that started essentially out of retaliation by DeSantis after he and Disney butted heads over the “Don’t Say Gay” law earlier this year. Here’s a timeline of the fallout:

March 2022




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