Disney Moves to Focus Lawsuit on Free Speech and Not DeSantis

Credit: Disney

The long battle between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis continues. The dispute between The Walt Disney Company and the Florida Governor began in April 2022 and has only gotten worse as it progressed. Disney is looking to change the scope from DeSantis directly to a free speech claim instigated by the Governor due to a state law banning.

Disney’s stand is that “Florida Governor retaliated against the company because of its public opposition to a state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades,” AP reported. DeSantis swiftly abolished Reedy Creek Improvement District, replacing it with Central Florida Tourism Orlando District, changing how Disney governs the Resort property.

reedy creek

Credit: Jacksonville Business Journal

Now, Disney has asked a federal judge for permission to file a complaint focusing on free speech, which is the First Amendment.

Disney’s Focus on Free Speech

Disney heads in a different direction, this time not naming DeSantis as a main focal point in the lawsuit. In fact, DeSantis isn’t a party in the state court lawsuit. “Disney on Friday asked a federal judge for permission to file an amended complaint focusing just on the First Amendment claim and leaving to another, state-court lawsuit questions about the legality of agreements the company signed with Disney World’s governing district,” CBS NEWS reported.

Furthermore, AP wrote, “Disney faces concrete, imminent, and ongoing injury as a result of CFTOD’s new powers and composition, which are being used to punish Disney for expressing a political view.” Reportedly, Disney’s motion was rejected by U.S. Judge Allen Winsor due to Disney not speaking with DeSantis’ attorneys prior to filing the request. “The judge said Disney could refile its request after complying with the court rule,” CBS NEWS wrote.

We previously reported how Governor Ron DeSantis commented on the lawsuit with Disney. He reported being “over” the battle and wanting to move forward in a positive direction. In fact, the Governor even admitted to getting married in Walt Disney World at Disney’s Grand Floridian, showing his Disney fan side.

Ron DeSantis Speaking

Credit: ABC

As for the lawsuit, it’s unclear what will happen next. It seems as though Disney is still very much up for the battle, even if DeSantis is ready to bow out and move forward with his campaign for the 2024 presidential election.

What are your thoughts on this year-long lawsuit?

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.