Ron DeSantis has abolished all diversity, equity and inclusion programmes within Disney World’s governing district in Florida, as part of his continued attack on the Magic Kingdom.
The governor and presidential hopeful dismantled the inclusive hiring policies on Tuesday (1 August) within Florida’s Central Tourism Oversight District board, which oversees Walt Disney World.
District officials claimed that the diversity, equity and inclusion committee would be eliminated, calling it an attempt to “divide us by race.”
Policies left by previous administrators, who awarded contracts through racial or gender-parity goals, were also axed.
Newly appointed district administrator Glenton Gilzean told Associated Press that he believed the initiatives were “illegal and simply un-American.”
He said: “As the former head of the Central Florida Urban League, a civil rights organisation, I can say definitively that our community thrives only when we work together despite our differences.”
Gilzean was appointed to the role of district administrator after DeSantis appointees took control of the district, in part due to the governor’s continued “anti-woke” tirade.
Ron DeSantis rivalry with Disney
A feud between the multimedia company and DeSantis began after it publically condemned Florida’s Don’t Say Gay bill, which bans open discussion about sexual orientation and gender identity in public schools.
State Republicans retaliated earlier this year by taking over the district, using hastily passed legislation which appointed a new board of supervisors to oversee the theme park and hotel district.
Additionally, it removed Disney World’s “special status” in Florida.
In response, Disney filed a lawsuit stating that officials had “exhausted efforts to seek a resolution” with Florida Republicans over the takeover.
A countersuit was subsequently filed in May by district board chairman Martin Garcia, who said at the time: “We have no choice now but to respond.”
Florida has some of the most extreme anti-LGBTQ+ laws of any state in the US.
The situation has become so tense that not-for-profit organisation, the Human Rights Campaign, issued a travel advisory warning in May, advising LGBTQ+ and marginalised people to refrain from travelling to the Sunshine state.