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DeSantis says he thinks Disney shouldn’t have special self-governing status

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) appeared to support eliminating Disney’s special status that allows it to operate as an independent government in the area around its Orlando park.

“Disney has alienated a lot of people now,” DeSantis said Thursday at a press conference in West Palm Beach. “And so the political influence they’re used to wielding, I think has dissipated. And so the question is, why would you want to have special privileges in the law at all? And I don’t think that that we should.”

The special status, which Disney has had since 1967, gave the company the legal right to operate under its own government around Walt Disney World in central Florida, according to CNN.

The comments come amid an escalating feud between DeSantis and Disney over Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which bans schools in the state from educating children about gender identity or sexual orientation.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek received criticism for not speaking out against the bill before it was passed by the state legislature, but after DeSantis signed the bill into law this week, the company pledged to help repeal the bill.

DeSantis said in response to the pledge that Disney “crossed the line” and that his state is not run by “California corporate executives.”

Florida’s bill comes as a number of other states have passed legislation that targets LGBTQ schoolchildren. Several states have either introduced or passed bills that ban the use of gender-affirming treatment for transgender youth, such as puberty blockers or gender-affirming surgeries.

Florida has also passed a bill banning transgender students from participating on sports teams that correspond with their gender identity.

Tags Bob Chapek Bob Chapek Disney Don't Say Gay bill Florida Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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