Bloomberg reported that a Disney investor sued the media company for allegedly creating a “far-reaching,”‘swift, and severe financial risk for the company as well as its stakeholders in response to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Act. Friday’s unsealing of the complaint was done by Delaware Chancery Court.
Left-leaning critics refer to the Parental Rights in Education Act as the “Don’t Say Gay”, misleadingly. It prohibits schools from teaching students in kindergarten through third grade about their sexual orientation and gender identity. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), signed the act into law in March. It also prohibits schools from limiting parents’ access information about their children’s mental and emotional health.
Kenneth Simeone, a Disney investor, filed a 22-page suit against Disney demanding that it deliver its internal records concerning its objections to Florida’s bill.
Simeone’s lawsuit claims that Disney’s criticisms of the law created significant financial risks for shareholders.
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DeSantis warned Disney not to denounce the Parental Rights in Education Bill publicly, but Bob Chapek, then-CEO, succumbed to pressure from angry employees who wanted him to oppose the legislation. Chapek opposed the bill and promised to stop all political donations.
DeSantis immediately revoked Disney’s special municipal district (also known as the Reedy Creek Improvement District) that had been in effect since 1967, shortly after the bill was passed into law. According to the suit, this led to the loss of control by the media giant over the tax and infrastructure decisions for its Florida amusement park properties.
Simeone claimed that Disney’s financial actions had caused severe and swift financial consequences.
Bloomberg reported Simeone’s lawsuit as a “books & records” action. This request for documents can be used to bring legal actions against Disney directors who have spoken out against the law. According to the news outlet, Delaware judges are known for granting such requests.
In November, Chapek was fired and was replaced by Bob Iger, his long-serving Disney CEO.
Bloomberg and The New York Post reported that Disney responded to a request for comment.