The new Walt Disney World oversight board selected by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis accused its Disney-controlled predecessors of undercutting its authority by passing restrictive agreements that strip the new board of much of its powers.
The current supervisors of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District said their predecessors signed an agreement with Disney last month that gave the company maximum development power over the theme park resort in Florida.
“We’re going to have to deal with it and correct it,” DeSantis-appointed board member Brian Aungst said Wednesday. “It’s a subversion of the will of the voters and the Legislature and the governor. It completely circumvents the authority of this board to govern.”
Stay in the conversation on politics:Sign up for the OnPolitics newsletter
What did Ron DeSantis do to Disney board?
DeSantis appointed five new supervisors to the oversight board after the Florida Legislation dissolved Disney’s self-governing district following the company’s public opposition to the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. The legislation barred teachings on sexual orientation and gender identify in grades kindergarten through third.
“Today the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis during the bill signing to strip the company of its self-governing power. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”
Disney maintains power despite new oversight board
The district is now prohibited from using the name “Disney” or any symbols associated with the amusement park without permission from the company, which includes the use of Mickey Mouse or other intellectually property, according to the agreement. The company can also sue for damages under any violation.
Disney stood behind the agreement, stating it took place in public.
“All agreements signed between Disney and the District were appropriate, and were discussed and approved in open, noticed public forums in compliance with Florida’s Government in the Sunshine law,” the company wrote in a statement.
Contributing The Associated Press