Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking Disney to drop its lawsuit against him after he took away the company’s ability to self-govern an area of its Walt Disney World amusement parks in Orlando.
“We’ve basically moved on,” DeSantis said in an interview with CNBC on Monday. “They’re 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 that bans classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in what critics have called a “Don’t Say Gay” policy.
Following Disney’s public admonition of the new law, DeSantis stripped the company of a 25,000-acre district it had self-governed since the 1960s. After gaining control, diversity, equity and inclusion programs in the district were stripped away by DeSantis appointees.
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 the 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.
DeSantis told CNBC he wants to “move forward” from the lawsuit.
“So all we want to do is treat everybody the same, and let’s move forward,” he said. “I’m totally fine with that. But I’m not fine with giving extraordinary privileges, you know, to one special company at the exclusion of everybody else.”