DeSantis Claims ‘Immunity’ in Disney Fight

Ron DeSantis Speaking
Credit: ABC

Anybody who follows Disney news, politics, or social media, is probably well aware of the ongoing battle between The Walt Disney Company and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. There have not been many new punches thrown in the fight lately – perhaps it’s because Disney is busy figuring out how to restructure their business among their CFO and other execs leaving. Or it could also be because Governor DeSantis is too distracted in his 2024 presidential campaign against former President Donald Trump to spend time fighting over monorail inspections.

walt disney burbank building

Credit: Disney

RELATED: UPDATE: Disney vs. DeSantis Feud

Recent Updates

But the wheels have already been put in motion for legal fights, which will continue to lurch on regardless of what happens at Disney or the Governor’s office.

In the most recent development, Governor Ron DeSantis filed a motion Monday, June 26, to dismiss the Walt Disney Company’s lawsuit against him. The reason? Ron DeSantis and his team claim that he, like many other government officials, has “legislative immunity.”

RELATED: Disney CFO Steps Down Amid Lawsuit

What Does That Mean?

bob-iger ceo disney

Credit: Disney

It means there are currently laws to protect against legal retaliation against public officials such as Governors or lawmakers. For example, if you feel you have been wronged or your rights have been violated, you can take up a legal fight with the state, but not specifically with the lawmaker(s). Since the lawsuit filed by Disney specifically calls out Ron DeSantis by name, the Florida governor seems to be claiming that Disney is singling him out – as opposed to challenging the state or its other officials.

All of this legal back and forth stems from the former bill, now law, passed by Florida Republicans prohibiting the discussion of sexual orientation and identity in grades kindergarten through third grade. The company and Disney CEO Bob Chapek chose not to pick a side at first but later opted to fight against the bill and Florida Republicans. This resulted in the state stripping Walt Disney World Resort of benefits it enjoyed in the state, such as control of the Reedy Creek Improvement District.

chapek disney ceo

Credit: ABC

RELATED: Chief Diversity Officer Leaves Disney

One Year, Zero Wins

It’s been over a year since the fight began, and it doesn’t seem to be doing either side much favors. Governor Ron DeSantis has been criticized by other Republicans, including Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, and the Walt Disney Company has seen its stock price drop and box office numbers fall dramatically.

Magic Kingdom Entrance with Disney100 decor

Credit: Disney

Perhaps in a year, we will know who “won” the battle. But odds are, it may be nobody.

RELATED: Bob Iger FINALLY Announces Some Good News for Disney

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)