Disney has been involved in a dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s law that is considered by some to be anti-LGBTQ
Disney and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC / Getty Images)
Walt Disney Co. has pushed back its announced move of employees to Florida from California by three years.
The decision comes as the entertainment company is embroiled in a dispute with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s controversial Parental Rights in Education law.
The law bans instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. Opponents have referred to it as the “Don’t Say Gay” law, claiming it is anti-LGBTQ.
The relocation of some employees to Florida is in connection to the completion of the company’s new campus in the Orlando community of Lake Nona, a spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times.
The company in July 2021 said it planned to move some 2,000 staffers to central Florida to take advantage of some $570 million in tax breaks. The move was expected to take 18 months.
That has been pushed back to an anticipated opening date of 2026.
A Disney spokesperson said the delay in relocation was not related to the DeSantis dispute.
Some observers believe that the move was political. Jim Shull, a former Disney Imagineer, tweeted that the delay appeared to be an example of Disney “sticking it to” DeSantis.
Disney denounced the law after its Chief Executive Bob Chapek faced pressure from employees to speak out.
DeSantis called the company a “woke” corporation, and the state Legislature voted to strip Disney of its unusual self-governing privileges in the district that includes Walt Disney World.
DeSantis is widely considered to be a possible presidential candidate in 2024, but he has not yet announced any official plans.