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DeSantis repeal of Disney’s ‘Reedy Creek’ special status a warning to woke corporations: Terrell

DeSantis repeal of Disney's 'Reedy Creek' special status a warning to woke corporations: Terrell

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With Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signing a bill dissolving the Reedy Creek Improvement District – the special tax district containing Walt Disney World – he is taking a stand against woke corporations, civil rights attorney Leo Terrell said.

Terrell told Fox News that what is lost in the outcry against the move is that Tallahassee is not dissolving Disney or taking away its rights – it is simply leveling the playing field.

“I think it’s an excellent move — it’s a signal to all these woke corporations who want to influence government politics,” he said on “The Story” Friday.

“Disney has the right to articulate a viewpoint, and those Florida legislators have the right to pass bills pro-and-con [toward] companies … that is called democracy.”


Mickey/Minnie and Bob Chapek
(Image Group LA/Disney via Getty Images)

“If Disney doesn’t like it, put their own people in politics,” Terrell said. “They have passed a bill to take away Disney special privileges — that’s exactly what it was.”

The Reedy Creek Improvement District, established in 1967, has given Disney a quasi-self-governing status, allowing it to transact its own taxes and bonds, provide public services like police and fire, and regulate infrastructure atypical of normal businesses’ relationship with municipal governments.

The RCID was originally signed into law by another Republican, Gov. Claude Kirk Jr.

Critics claimed RCID’s repeal will unduly burden taxpayers of Orange and Osceola Counties with Disney’s $2 billion debt otherwise usurped by the special district. Most of Walt Disney World sits in Orange County, which also includes Orlando, while WDW “All-Star” resorts and the ESPN Wide World of Sports are in less-developed Osceola County.


Ron DeSantis
(Photo by Kent Phillips/Walt Disney World Resort via Getty Images)

Terrell reiterated that Disney is not being “canceled.”

“What the progressive left has done is to try to eliminate the opportunity to even exist,” he said. “The Florida legislature is not trying to eliminate Disney. They’re just telling Disney, you can’t have it all for yourself.”

In a statement reported by Florida media earlier this week, DeSantis said Disney has “gotten away with special deals” from Tallahassee for too long.

“If Disney wants to pick a fight, they chose the wrong guy,” he said.

The company drew the ire of the center-right after it took a strong stand against a state law banning sexual and gender identity education in grades K-3.

Darshan Shah
the authorDarshan Shah