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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been recently outmaneuvered by Disney in a legal battle over the entertainment giant’s self-governing. This battle is one of many in the year-long war between DeSantis and Mickey Mouse, first instigated by Disney’s opposition towards DeSantis’ controversial “Don’t Say Gay” bill. Since Disney’s recent legal victory, which nullified DeSantis’ takeover attempt, the governor has called for further inspection into how it happened, claiming the entertainment company’s actions as “collusive” and “defying the wills of Floridians.” In response, CEO Bob Iger claimed Disney’s actions were legitimate and opposition against him as “anti-business” and “anti-Florida.” All in all, DeSantis’ efforts to take action against Disney are met with opposition from fellow Republicans and Disney’s formidable legal system. DeSantis’ efforts to take action against Disney have been opposed by those on both sides of the aisle and will be a blow to his political standing.

DeSantis’ intense intent to strip the pop culture juggernaut of its special privileges is foolish. The current dilemma he faces is not only opposition from liberal activists for his “Don’t Say Gay” bill but now has been exposed to criticism by his fellow Republicans. Despite DeSantis’ portrayal of Disney as a “woke” and politically left-aligned company, Republicans have instead taken to the public to condemn him. While DeSantis pushes and advocates for a thorough review and inspection of the legal dynamic shift, Disney enjoys holding its first-ever Pride Night, rallying potential political support from the LGBTQIA+ community. The loss of DeSantis is also a victory for the queer community since his signing of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill will now be completely undermined by this sequence of events.

Allies of DeSantis argue against Disney, labeling its dominion over its lands as an evasion of Florida laws. While it does not appeal to a Republican ideal of giving businesses more freedom and limiting governing powers against it, it does bring into discourse the idea of limiting the playing ground for big corporations. This is also reinforced as Disney’s legal sway in the battle resulted from a last-minute agreement with Reedy Creek Improvement District granting the company developmental authority over the theme park. 

However, it is better for Mickey Mouse to take the win over the Florida senator. Since the bitter feud started from Disney choosing to speak out over the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, the implications of the legal battle includes the sentiment for free speech to corporations. Corporate speech, as long as it is lawful and not misleading, can serve as information that allows consumers to judge and critique businesses through moral and ethical means.

Overall, the actions taken against Disney have backfired for the Florida Governor. With his presidential campaign undermined by fellow Republicans and a rallied LGBTQIA+ community opposing him, DeSantis has dug his own grave for his political career.