Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking Disney to drop the lawsuit against him after he took away the company’s ability to govern itself in an area of its Walt Disney World theme parks in Orlando.
“We’ve basically moved on,” DeSantis said in an interview with CNBC on Monday. “They are suing the state of Florida. They’re going to lose that lawsuit.”
The legal battle began last year after Disney publicly opposed a Florida state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in what critics have called a “Don’t Say Gay” policy.
Following Disney Public Warning of the new law, DeSantis stripped the company of a 25,000-acre district that had been self-governing since the 1960s. After winning control, diversity, equity and inclusion programs in the district they were dispossessed by persons designated by DeSantis.
Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis and the state of Florida in April, accusing the governor of a “targeted campaign of government retaliation” after Disney publicly opposed anti-LGBTQ+ law.
While DeSantis told CNBC that Disney would lose the lawsuit, he also encouraged Disney CEO Bob Iger to simply drop it.
“So what I would say is drop the lawsuit,” DeSantis said.
In April, the current Republican front-runner and former president donald trump published in his social truth recounts that DeSantis was “outbid, outsmarted, and embarrassed by Mickey Mouse and Disney.”
DeSantis told CNBC that he wants to “move forward” on the lawsuit.
“So all we want to do is treat everyone equally and move on,” he said. “I’m totally fine with that. But I don’t agree with granting extraordinary privileges, you know, to a special company to the exclusion of all others.”