Florida lost 2,000 white-collar jobs after Disney ratcheted up its fight with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday.
As a result of “changing business conditions,” Disney has decided to scrap its plans for a $1 billion office complex in Florida, according to a memo provided by a Disney spokesperson.
This comes as DeSantis is widely expected to enter the 2024 GOP presidential race next week, and the company is now publicly feuding with him.
A DeSantis spokesperson said it was “unsurprising” It has been reported that the project by Disney has been canceled. “given the company’s financial straits, falling market cap, and declining stock price.”
Press team for @GovRonDeSantis responds to the dead Lake Nona deal: “Given the company’s financial straits, falling market cap, and declining stock price, it is unsurprising that they would restructure their business operations and cancel unsuccessful ventures.” pic.twitter.com/9U9yBgv8Ua
— Forrest Saunders (@FBSaunders) May 18, 2023
Like the rest of the media industry, Disney has a challenging advertising climate and widespread writers’ strikes. As part of a cost-cutting initiative, it announced that 7,000 jobs would be eliminated earlier this year.
The Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser resort at Disney World will close a little over a year after it first opened, the company confirmed Thursday.
Disney announced at D23 that the popular attraction “will take its final voyage” at the end of September and that the company is helping guests reschedule their visits for later in the year.
It was projected that 2,000 jobs from California would be added to Lake Nona, Florida’s campus in the greater Orlando area.
“It is unfortunate that Disney will not be moving forward with construction of the Lake Nona campus,” In a statement by Mayor Jerry L. Demings of Orange County expressed. “However, these are the consequences when there isn’t an inclusive and collaborative work environment between the state of Florida and the business community. We will continue to work closely with our valued partners at Disney.”
The Democratic Party Chairman of Florida claims that the state lost millions of dollars in revenue and 2,000 jobs due to the governor’s “unhinged personal vendetta against Disney.”
“DeSantis has single-handedly and decidedly made Florida an anti-business state,” In a statement, Nikki Fried, the Chair of the Florida Democratic Party, expressed, “Unfortunately, today’s news isn’t a shock for those of us who have been living through his reign of terror, and Floridians are already paying a high price.”
Disney and DeSantis have been at each other’s throats for over a year, arguing over the governor’s controversial bill to limit classroom instruction on se*ual orientation and gender identity. The “Don’t Say Gay” law is what its detractors call it.
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The dispute has heated up in recent months after DeSantis attempted to assume control of the company’s Disney World-related special tax district. DeSantis has tried to appoint a personally chosen board to run the school system.
Even though DeSantis appointed a new board in February, Disney had already made deals with the outgoing board that limited their authority.
Disney has filed a federal lawsuit against DeSantis and the state of Florida, claiming that their actions violate Disney’s First Amendment rights to free speech.
At the company’s annual meeting last month, Disney CEO Bob Iger said that he thought DeSantis’ decision to punish Disney—one of the state’s largest employers—was “anti-business” and “anti-Florida.”
Additionally, Iger suggested that DeSantis and the Florida legislature were jeopardizing the company’s plans to invest $17 billion in Florida and create 13,000 jobs over the next decade during a call with investors following the company’s quarterly earnings report last week.
Therefore, the question is, “Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?” On the investor call, Iger asked a rhetorical question.
“Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people, and pay more taxes, or not?” https://t.co/tXcTQTu38r
— GameSpot (@GameSpot) May 11, 2023
In light of those remarks, Disney did not address whether it was altering its Florida investment plans. The statement made on Thursday could be the beginning of the process to change those intentions.
Following the news, Disney’s stock price increased marginally.
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For almost 4 years, Jason Martin has been a freelance writer for newspapers, journals, blogs, books, and online material. He covers the most recent news as well as many other topics.