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Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a campaign rally at the Cheyenne Saloon on November 7, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images

(LifeSiteNews) — Entertainment giant Disney withdrew its remaining lawsuits against the state of Florida over Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’s revocation of special privileges for the company’s Florida resort, prompting the governor and his allies to declare another victory against both woke ideology and special interests.

Disney, which for years has been infusing its mainstream children’s and family entertainment offerings with pro-LGBT messages and other left-wing themes, took a hardline stance in March 2022 against Florida’s proposed Parental Rights in Education law, which prohibited a range of sexually-related instruction in K-3 education and guaranteed parental notification for any changes that could affect their child’s physical, emotional, or mental well-being. The law passed anyway (and was later expanded to all grade levels), after which DeSantis moved to eliminate the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the self-governing “special district” status for Disney’s Florida theme park. This special status had exempted the park from various state regulations and conferred other financial benefits, effectively allowing Disney to govern itself for decades. 

Disney sued the state, but in December 2023 was forced to withdraw four of its five complaints concerning the validity of contracts that were voided by the new oversight board but made before DeSantis instituted its replacement, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District (CFTOD).

In February, U.S. District Judge Allen Winsor dismissed the entire federal lawsuit, finding that Disney lacked standing to have brought the suit, that Disney was “not the district’s only landowner, and other landowners within the district are affected by the same laws,” that “the statute did ‘not implicate any constitutionally protected conduct,’” and that Disney “has not alleged any specific injury from any board action.”

The company vowed to appeal, but the Tampa Free Press now reports that Disney dropped its lawsuit against the CFTOD, conceding its last-minute agreements with Reedy Creek were legally invalid, and agreeing to drop its remaining suits against the oversight body.

“We are glad that Disney has dropped its lawsuits against the new Central Florida Tourism Oversight District and conceded that their last-minute development agreements are null, void, and unenforceable,” said DeSantis communications director Bryan Griffin. “No corporation should be its own government. Moving forward, we stand ready to work with Disney and the District to help promote economic growth, family-friendly tourism, and accountable government in Central Florida.”

“Everything we’ve done has been in the best interest of the State of Florida, and we have been vindicated on all those actions. Going forward, we’re going to continue to govern with the best interests of the State of Florida,” the governor added in a press conference.

On top of its general lack of success on the merits thus far, Hot Air’s Ed Morrissey speculates that Disney may have also ended its fight with DeSantis to focus on defending itself from another challenge: an attempted shareholder revolt led by investor Nelson Peltz backed by Ike Perlmutter, former chairman of Disney-owned Marvel Entertainment, who object to the company’s woke direction. Last week, major Wall Street firm Institutional Shareholder Services threw its support behind Peltz, ahead of a key shareholders meeting set for April 3.

“[Disney CEO Bob] Iger doesn’t have much time to shore up his claim on leadership,” Morrissey wrote. “He needs to pare down the distractions, especially the legal problems in Florida and the continued focus on its wokery and corporate chicanery. That matters more to Iger than his stupid attempt to revive the Reedy Creek Golden Goose he and Bob Chapek sacrificed to their activist employees.”