News USA The pulse between Disney and DeSantis topples an investment of 1,000 million...

The pulse between Disney and DeSantis topples an investment of 1,000 million dollars in Florida

Ron DeSantis gives a speech on May 12 in Peoria, Illinois.Matt Dayhoff (AP)

The clash between Disney and Ron DeSantis has escalated. The entertainment giant has reported this Thursday that he has canceled his plans to build a new corporate complex in central Florida. This campus, known as the town of Lake Nona, would have cost between 900 million and 1.3 billion dollars, according to the latest estimates. The cancellation comes at a time of high tension between the company, which is based in the southern state, and Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has used the battle against the company and his progressive values ​​as a launch pad for his presidential campaign.

DeSantis stepped up his crackdown on Disney when it took a stand against the rule banning the teaching of sex education and gender issues in the early years of the public system and recently extended it to all grades. The controversial law, named Don’t Say Gay by his critics, is one of the star initiatives of the Republican, who seeks to compete with Donald Trump in the primaries. The close circle of the politician, who was re-elected in November for a second term, has announced that next week the intention to compete for the White House will be made official.

In another blow to weaken the company, DeSantis named the five officials who chair the watchdog body in the district where Disney is located. The affront broke the tacit agreement between the political power in Tallahassee, the capital of Florida, with the economic power of Orlando, from where the company serves as the main employer for the state of almost 22 million inhabitants. It is the first time since 1955 that Disney has not appointed members of the body. In response, Disney went to court to sue DeSantis for his “retaliation” and for creating an “anti-business” environment in the entity.

A DeSantis spokesperson said it was not clear the set would become a reality despite being announced two years ago. “Given the financial straits the company is in, its declining valuation and its declining share price, it’s no surprise that they are restructuring their operations and canceling unsuccessful projects,” said Jeremy Redfern. Anna Eskamani, a local congresswoman, called DeSantis a “job-killing asshole” who is more interested in his political ambitions and “in the culture war than the future of Florida.”

Josh D’Amaro, the company’s president of amusement parks, assured employees in an email that the cancellation of the Lake Nona plans was due to changed conditions “of the business and new leadership.” In November 2022, the company’s board of directors made the decision to bring back Bob Iger, the charismatic executive who guided Disney through decisive years of growth.

Iger, who was in retirement, replaced Bob Chapek as CEO. In February, Iger announced a severe cutback plan that included the layoff of 7,000 employees and the curb on various investments, among these many productions that were going to serve to expand the catalog of Disney+ series and movies. The company has announced this Thursday, as part of these adjustments, it will stop operating its Star Wars-themed cruise. The Galactic Starcruiser, which charged $2,500 a night, will make its final voyage on September 28.

Despite the times in the kingdom of Mickey Mouse, D’Amaro has been optimistic about the future of the company. “We have plans to invest 17,000 million dollars and create 13,000 jobs in the next ten years. I hope we can do it,” the park manager wrote to the employees.

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