Former President Donald Trump blamed his Republican primary opponent Ron DeSantis on Sunday for failing to stop Disney from becoming "woke."
Trump took aim on at Disney and DeSantis on his Truth Social platform and called the media company "a Woke and Disgusting shadow of its former self."
He also warned that if Disney does not "go back to what it once was" … "the 'market' will do irreparable damage" to the company.
After personally putting the home of Mickey Mouse on notice, Trump squarely placed the blame for Disney's woke attitude on "the Governorship of "'Rob' DeSanctimonious," adding that his feud with the company was "for publicity reasons only" and that "he should have stopped it long ago."
Forbes reported Monday that the former president's comments Sunday "appear to be a slight change in tactics."
Last April, after DeSantis unveiled new plans targeting Disney's Florida-based theme parks and resorts, Trump posted on Truth Social that "DeSanctus" was "being absolutely destroyed by Disney."
Trump followed on the post that the governor's "publicity stunt" and actions would result in Disney deciding to slowly pull out of future investments in the Sunshine State, if not completely withdraw or sell off "certain properties, or the whole thing."
On May 18, the Walt Disney Company, citing "new leadership and changing business conditions," officially scrapped a $1 billion office complex in Orlando. Had the development project moved forward, it would have produced more than 2,000 jobs in Florida, with more than 1,000 employees being relocated from Southern California.
The Trump campaign, in prompt response to Disney's announcement, sent out an email with the heading: "President Trump is always right."
DeSantis has warred with Disney since March 2022, after the company and its then-CEO Bob Chapek opposed Florida's Parental Rights in Education bill, legislation that would limit gender identity and sexuality discussions in elementary schools.
DeSantis, who signed the controversial bill into law, responded by ousting Disney's Reedy Creek Improvement District — a special state district that oversaw the company's 27,000-acre theme park and resort — and cherry-picking board members to govern its replacement, the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District.
Disney's lawyers made the next move in the high-profile battle, however, by quietly pushing through an arrangement that severely hampered the new board's authority and allowed the company to maintain broad authority over its building projects.
Last month, after DeSantis and the board unilaterally revoked the arrangement, Disney filed a lawsuit against the Florida governor and his appointed board, asking federal court to overturn the state's ongoing efforts to control Walt Disney World. Disney has amended the lawsuit several times since, and has accused DeSantis of waging a war of retaliation against the company for exercising its First Amendment freedom of expression rights.
DeSantis described Disney's lawsuit as an "unfortunate example" of the company's actions against the state. One week after Disney filed suit, the governor and his board retaliated with a lawsuit of their own, in an effort to maintain its oversight of design and construction in the district.
As for Trump, DeSantis told Newsmax's "Eric Bolling The Balance" last Thursday that he was surprised to see the former president hit him from the same angle on Disney and immigration.
"I think some of the things he's been attacking me on, I've been a little bit surprised at, because he's attacking me from the left," DeSantis explained to host Eric Bolling. "That really wasn't the Donald Trump from 2015 and 2016. He was a hard-charger, leaning in on all the issues — very edgy on conservative issues, and it was part of the reason he did so well.
"But when he's taking Disney's side against me, I just kind of wonder," he added. "OK, I get that he wants to hit me, but don't take the side of a multinational corporation that wants to sexualize kids."
DeSantis made similar statements about Trump having "taken the side of Disney" on "Fox & Friends" on Monday morning.
Trump quickly responded on Truth Social that the governor's claim was "wrong" and Fox should have corrected it, "but that's not the game they play."
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