Investor Files Lawsuit Against Disney for Opposing “Don’t Say Gay” Bill in Florida - The Jewish Voice
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Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Investor Files Lawsuit Against Disney for Opposing “Don’t Say Gay” Bill in Florida

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Investor Files Lawsuit Against Disney for Opposing “Don’t Say Gay” Bill in Florida


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A 22 page suit filed late Friday from investor Kenneth Simeone claims Disney created a “far-reaching” financial risk for itself by opposing Florida’s controversial so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as was reported by the New York Post.

The lawsuit demands that Disney turn over its internal records about its opposition to the law limiting instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in elementary schools, the Post reported.

By criticizing the law, Disney lost control over tax and improvement issues on the Orlando-based theme park, the suit said, as was indicated in the Post report. “The financial repercussions from Disney’s actions, and resulting harm to the company and its stockholders, have been swift and severe,” Simeone alleged in court papers.

According to Bloomberg News, the lawsuit is a so-called “books and records” action, demanding documents that can be used to later sue Disney directors over the decision to oppose the Florida law. Delaware judges often grant such file requests, Bloomberg said.

The “Don’t Say Gay” conflict blew up under Disney’s former CEO Bob Chapek, who initially wobbled on his response to the bill, opting not to weigh in. Drawing ire from Disney employees, Chapek came out against the bill, vowing that Disney would pause all political donations.

In late March, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis moved quickly to sign the bill into law, it was widely reported. Weeks later, DeSantis signed legislation that would eliminate Disney’s special-municipal district, called “Reedy Creek,” which the company had operated in the state since the late 1960s, according to the Post report.

As a result of the elimination of Reedy Creek Disney’s influence on decisions about taxation and infrastructure improvements for the theme park and its surrounding areas has been terminated. The Post reported that this means that Disney could be on the hook for billions in additional debt.

Former Disney CEO, Bob Chapek who was responsible for Disney vocalizing the position on the Don’t Say Gay matter that were reflective of his employees was ousted by the board recently and replaced by Bob Iger. Iger was the CEO of Disney before Chapek took over the helm and had always stressed the importance of Florida to the growth of Disney.

According to reports, the Sunshine State is softening its approach and is drafting a revision to the deal.

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