President Joe Biden stepped into the battle between Ron DeSantis and The Walt Disney Co. as the Florida governor is poised to sign legislation repealing a special tax district that covers Walt Disney World after the company came out against a recent parental rights law.
The law has been dubbed the “don’t say gay” bill by opponents. It restricts public school teachers from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity from K-3 grades. Opponents say that the law is written too broadly and is instead an effort by DeSantis to raise his public profile in advance of a 2024 presidential run.
At a fundraiser in Seattle on Thursday, Biden told donors, “There’s nothing conservative about deciding you’re going to throw Disney out of its present posture because — Mickey Mouse? In fact, do you think we should not be able to say, you know, ‘gay’?
“I mean, what’s going on here?,” he continued. “What the hell is going on? And it’s just — so, I don’t believe it’s who the vast majority of American people are.”
Disney has opposed the legislation after initially staying publicly neutral, but that has led to a backlash by DeSantis and state lawmakers. The Florida legislature this week passed a bill to strip Disney of a special district that allows it to self-govern its operations at Disney World. The Reedy Creek Improvement District was established by state law in 1967 as Disney started developing its sprawling Florida property near Orlando. The district has allowed it to make its own decisions on things like land use and infrastructure, as well as operate services that normally would be the responsibility of local municipalities.
DeSantis is expected to sign the legislation soon.
Disney has not commented on the bill to repeal the district.
Must Read Stories
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.