Florida Governor addresses potential repeal of Disney’s special self-government privilege

Following the company’s vocal resistance to a controversial parental rights law in Florida, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the notion of abolishing a 55-year-old state provision that allows Disney to virtually rule itself on the grounds of Walt Disney World on Thursday.

His comments came just a day after Florida State Representative Spencer Roach tweeted that he had spoken with legislators to propose abolishing the self-governing law in response to Disney’s recent actions.

During a press conference in West Palm Beach, DeSantis said, “What I would say as a matter of first principle is I don’t support special privileges in law just because a company is powerful and they’ve been able to wield a lot of power.”

Last year, Republicans were working on a bill to reign in big tech until Disney added a “carve out” for theme parks at the “11th hour,” according to DeSantis.

He recalled, “I’m thinking to myself, ‘This is ridiculous.’ Honestly, it was embarrassing. I think what has happened is there’s a lot of these special privileges that are not justifiable, but because Disney had held so much sway, they were able to sustain a lot of special treatment over the years.”

DeSantis went on to say that any particular special legal privileges should be revoked entirely, not just Disney. 

In the case of Disney, however, he doesn’t believe there are many people in the legislature who can defend a lot of what has been done over the years that essentially allowed them to almost rule themselves. He believes it was probably never appropriate to begin with, and it surely isn’t appropriate now.

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