Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking Disney to drop the lawsuit against him after denying the company the ability to self-manage a portion of its Walt Disney World amusement parks in Orlando.
“We’ve basically progressed,” DeSantis said in an interview with CNBC On Monday. “They are suing the state of Florida. You will lose this lawsuit.”
The legal battle began last year after Disney publicly opposed a Florida state law banning classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity, in what critics call a “don’t say gay” policy.
Below Disney’s Public Admonition The new law stripped the company of a 25,000-acre district that DeSantis had managed itself since the 1960s. After DeSantis gained control, diversity, equity and inclusion programs in the district were abolished by DeSantis officers.
Disney filed a lawsuit against DeSantis and the state of Florida in April, accusing the governor of a “targeted government retaliation campaign” after Disney publicly opposed the anti-LGBTQ+ law.
While DeSantis told CNBC that Disney would lose the lawsuit, he also encouraged Disney CEO Bob Iger to just drop the lawsuit.
“So I would say drop the lawsuit,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis, who runs for president but regularly gets poor poll numbers, has been ridiculed by Democrats and Republicans for his feud with Disney.
In April, current Republican frontrunner and former President Donald Trump posted on his Truth Social account that DeSantis was “outgunned, outsmarted and embarrassed by Mickey Mouse and Disney.”
DeSantis told CNBC he wanted to “move on” with the lawsuit.
“So we just want to treat everyone equally and move on,” he said. “I totally agree with that. But I do not agree to grant exceptional privileges to any particular company and exclude all others.”