DeSantis ‘Welcomes Disney’s Surrender’ on Key Lawsuit As Company Sales Tank
The Walt Disney Company has suffered another tough week, and their misfortune does not appear to be letting up soon. On Wednesday, Ron DeSantis’s legal team told reporters that the Governor “welcomes Disney’s surrender” after a new court filing was made in the lawsuit accusing the Governor of political retaliation.
DeSantis revoked the entertainment conglomerate’s special self-governing status earlier this year in response to its political attacks against The Parental Rights in Education bill, which blocked classroom instruction on sex and gender ideology in elementary schools. Disney has claimed that the Governor violated the first amendment through his “desire to punish” the company and has sued to regain control of their district.
However, a new filing by DeSantis’s lawyers describes the acts as “legislative in nature,” meaning that they are protected by “absolute legislative immunity.”
A statement from the legal team says that Disney’s latest complaint was less of a “legal document” and more of a “press release,” adding that:
“The governor welcomes Disney’s surrender on all of its claims challenging his legislative acts. As for the claims Disney continues to press, Disney lacks standing to sue the governor for those actions and has not overcome his sovereign immunity for the reasons discussed above.”
The naysayers have been attacking me for years.
They wrote me off during COVID because I stood against Faucism.
They attacked when I stood up for children against Disney.
But we continue to lead and deliver results. pic.twitter.com/pysvC9YAxO
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) August 2, 2023
The latest court filing was made just before Disney released a disastrous third-quarter earnings report.
According to the report, sales have plummeted across the company, with revenues struggling everywhere except their international parks. The company’s ailing streaming service Disney+ has significantly contributed to its financial woes, with subscribers dramatically declining for the second quarter in a row.
On Wednesday, CEO Bob Iger explained on an earnings call that his company was planning significant price hikes in a desperate attempt to recoup losses. The price hikes are expected to affect the streaming service Hulu, in which Disney also owns a majority stake.
Attendance at Disney’s parks has also measurably declined. Orange County reported collecting 7 percent less tax this year on hotels in the area, indicating a declining interest in tourism to the Mouse House.
Disney's summer so far
• Struggling TV assets
• Slowing theme park traffic
• Weak box office performances
• ESPN's $2 billion sportsbook deal
• Streaming losses of $600+ million in Q2
Earnings today should be a doozy pic.twitter.com/bMCXirY43s
— Morning Brew ☕️ (@MorningBrew) August 9, 2023
While several factors have played into Disney’s financial woes, the company’s forays into politics–resulting in the loss of its self-governing status and the alienation of much of its audience–has undoubtedly played a significant role.
A July Wall Street Journal op-ed by editorial board member Allysia Finley argued that Disney has lost its status as a family company, instead prioritizing woke virtue signaling over all-ages entertainment. She cited forced diversity and LGBTQ themes in the Snow White and Buzz Lightyear remakes as the latest examples.
“They hit you over the head with left-wing cultural mores—over and over again,” she wrote.
“By projecting their politics into children’s movies, Disney employees may end up casting themselves into the woods.”
Last quarter, Disney reportedly lost $659 million across its streaming platforms. The company has lost around $10 billion on streaming since the division launched in 2019.
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