DeSantis spox REFUTES media saying Florida is doing a ‘u-turn’ with Disney

The Financial Times is reporting that Florida is working on a compromise with Disney over the stripping of their special district earlier this year.

However they are characterizing it as a ‘U-Turn’ and a ‘reversal’, which the spokesperson for DeSantis has taken issue with, wanting everyone to know that is not what is happening.

Here’s the story from the Financial Times:

Florida lawmakers are working on plans to reverse a move that would strip Disney of its right to operate a private government around its theme parks, potentially resolving the fallout from the “Don’t Say Gay” controversy that dragged the entertainment giant into the culture wars.

In April, the Florida legislature voted to dissolve Disney’s 55-year-old special tax district following a public feud between Ron DeSantis, the state’s governor, and then-chief executive Bob Chapek over a new state law restricting discussion of LGBTQ issues in classrooms.

The set-up allows Disney to tax itself to cover the costs of providing water, power, roads and fire services in the area, known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The special district is seen as essential for the theme park operator to maintain high standards for visitors.

However, state lawmakers are working on a compromise that would allow Disney to keep the arrangement largely in place with a few modifications. Some believe the return of Bob Iger as CEO last month will help pave they way for a resolution, according to people briefed on the plan.

Randy Fine, the Republican lawmaker who drafted the law to end Disney’s control over the 25,000-acre Reedy Creek property, said that Chapek’s removal from executive office last week improved the chances that “something will get sorted out” over the district.

“It’s easier to shift policy when you don’t have to defend the old policy,” Fine said. “Chapek screwed up, but Bob Iger doesn’t have to own that screw-up.” 

Bryan Griffin, the spokesperson for Governor DeSantis, said emphatically that DeSantis does not make “U-turns” and was right to strip Disney of this special district.

He went on to suggest that there will still be an ‘even playing field for businesses in Florida’ in whatever compromise plan is worked out.

Disney dumping Chapek and bringing back Iger is a welcome change. Iger seems to be trying harder to balance his loyalty to the LGBT movement but also his loyalty to customers who don’t want that garbage shoved down their throats and those of their children. And he’s taken a much more diplomatic and softer tone with Florida than did his predecessor. It sounds like Florida welcomes this as well.

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