The battle over Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) has come to an end — at least for now.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law on February 27th effectively ending RCID as we know it. Many have wondered if this was a result of Disney’s response to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education law, called the “Don’t Say Gay” law by critics. At first, then-CEO Bob Chapek chose not to make a statement about the bill, but ultimately did — and according to the governor, Chapek faced immense pressure to do so.
Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District is no more, though it will retain some of its current responsibilities. Now, Reedy Creek will slowly have to begin operating under its new name — The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District. After much anticipation, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the bill to strip RCID of its name and certain functions.
The move (which many believe to be punishment for Disney’s response to the Don’t Say Gay bill) came the day before DeSantis’ brand-new book is set to hit shelves. It’s in that book where DeSantis claims then-CEO Bob Chapek called him to talk about the pressure he was under “to speak out against the legislation,” according to Fox News.
The book reads, “As the controversy over the Parental Rights in Education bill was coming to a head, Chapek called me. He did not want Disney to get involved, but he was getting a lot of pressure to weigh in against the bill.”
Chapek reportedly said to the governor, “We get pressured all the time. But this time is different. I haven’t seen anything like this before.”
After Disney failed to respond to the draft bill initially, many began to speak out against the company for not taking a stand, with Cast Members eventually staging a walkout in protest.
Later, during a company shareholder meeting, Chapek shared that Disney was “opposed to the bill from the outset, but chose not to take a public position on it because [they] thought [they] could be more effective working behind the scenes, engaging directly with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.” Chapek shared that they were “hopeful that our longstanding relationships with those lawmakers would enable [them] to achieve a better outcome.”
Despite “weeks of effort,” Chapek noted that they were unsuccessful in changing things “behind the scenes.”
That “behind the scenes” apparently includes this conversation between Chapek and DeSantis himself, who says he warned the then-CEO that if Disney got involved, “People like [the Governor] will say, ‘Gee, how come Disney has never said anything about China, where they make a fortune?’”
Per Fox News Digital, DeSantis’ book goes on to say that Chapek “caved” to the “leftist media” and pressure from activists, which is when DeSantis “championed legislation” to dissolve Reedy Creek. Ultimately, that plan failed, and instead, a new bill was passed. For now, we’ll have to see the district function under its new guidelines.
We’ll be keeping an eye out for more updates on Reedy Creek and any news from the governor about Disney, so stay tuned to DFB for the latest.
Read More About the New Reedy Creek Improvement District Here
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What do you think about the recent Reedy Creek updates? Let us know in the comments!
The post Governor DeSantis Details Conversation With Bob Chapek Over Disney’s “Don’t Say Gay” Response first appeared on the disney food blog.