Revoking Disney’s Special Status in Florida Could Set an Example

“Special perks for specific businesses or industries are bad for business, bad for government and bad for society,” writes Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Scott Shepard in his latest column for Real Clear Markets about Florida’s threat to revoke special business exemptions for the Walt Disney Co.

In response to Disney’s efforts – led by CEO Bob Chapek – to undermine Florida’s anti-grooming legislation, “Florida lawmakers are threatening to revoke Disney’s independent governance status,” writes Scott.

Scott Shepard“As Chapek should have realized,” Scott explains, “a company that tries to intimidate a whole state into surrendering to its will on behalf of a radical minority – one that has campaigned against the state’s position with straightforward lies – isn’t likely to keep its special legal and regulatory exemptions for long.”

Scott’s commentary unpacks the history of Disney’s special status in Florida, its recent rift with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and other Florida lawmakers over the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill and how other states – especially Georgia – can learn from Florida’s example.

“If companies knew that states did not, and because of constitutional limitations could not, offer special privileges, no one would seek them. Banning them would serve in effect as a significant tax break for every company doing business in the state. The ban would also radically decrease the opportunities for graft presented to elected officials,” writes Scott.

To read the full piece — “Disney, Florida, and the Folly of Special Business Exemptions” — and learn more about Disney, Florida and special business exemptions, click here.


Ethan Peck is an associate for the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project, the conservative movement’s only full-service shareholder activism and education program. He recently wrote about Disney’s agenda to expose young children to homosexuality. In March, the Free Enterprise Project presented a shareholder proposal at the Walt Disney Co. annual shareholder meeting regarding the company’s employee trainings, which are steeped in Critical Race Theory (CRT).

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.