Disney pivots investment from Florida to California amid LGBTQ+ rights dispute with Ron DeSantis
Disney’s conflict with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over LGBTQ+ rights has led to a shift in the company’s investment strategy, with a decrease in spending in Florida and an increase in investment in California. The company’s decision to prioritize its expansion plans in California comes as its legal dispute with DeSantis escalates due to the state’s ban on classroom discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation. Analysts believe that Disney’s move is a result of the ongoing battle with the right-wing governor, which has had a negative impact on its investments in Florida.
- In May, Disney cancelled a $1bn project in Florida and closed a Star Wars hotel at Disney World, which had been open for less than two years.
- Disney is now focusing on « Disneyland Forward, » a growth program that aims to generate $253m annually and create over 2,200 new jobs in its Anaheim theme parks.
- The cancellation of investments in Florida and the redirection of resources to California are seen as a reflection of Disney’s clash with DeSantis and its commitment to inclusivity and diversity.
- California Governor Gavin Newsom, who attended Disneyland’s Pride Nite, blamed Florida’s discriminatory policies for California’s economic success.
- While Disney has not explicitly linked its shift in investment to the dispute with DeSantis, experts believe that the company’s strategy is indeed influenced by the political climate in Florida.
- Disney’s decision is also driven by concerns for the well-being of its LGBTQ+ employees and their families, who may face discomfort and discrimination in a hostile environment.
- Despite the ongoing legal battle, analysts predict that Disney will eventually resolve the lawsuits to avoid a lengthy conflict with the Florida government.
- Tom Bricker, an expert on Disney, sees an opportune moment for the company in California due to the Florida troubles, supportive city leaders in Anaheim, and the backing of Newsom and state officials.
- Notwithstanding the political fallout, Disney remains a beloved brand that continues to attract families and visitors from all backgrounds.
- Disney still has plans for significant long-term investments in Disney World, indicating a commitment to protecting its valuable asset in Florida.
- Analysts note that DeSantis’ anti-business stance contradicts traditional Republican values and may ultimately undermine his political aspirations.
- The clash between Disney and DeSantis reflects a larger cultural war between powerful figures, with the company emerging as a victim in Florida and a beneficiary in California.
- Despite the entanglement of business and politics, Disney is expected to outlast politicians and corporate executives, securing its future success.