“The View” melted down Monday in response to Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently revoking Disney’s special tax privileges.
The Florida governor signed Senate Bill 4C into law Friday eliminating special tax districts created prior to 1968 through the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act. This legislation gave The Walt Disney Company the same authority and responsibility as a county government, including regulating their own taxes, land use, environmental and medical services.
“This goes against the GOP’s brand of being business friendly,” co-host Joy Behar said. “Can he win this culture war? Because he’s taking on the mouse, and the mouse is bigger than Ron DeSantis.”
Co-host Ana Navarro said she was “bothered” by the legislation, arguing DeSantis could not call himself “pro-business” and a supporter of free speech, small government and an opponent of cancel culture while also “canceling” a major corporation for “freely speaking their mind” to protect their LGBTQ employees.
“It was to penalize and take revenge against Disney for having dared cross a pet legislative cause of theirs. And that is wrong, it’s anti-American, it’s what happens in Venezuela, it’s what happens in Nicaragua, it does not happen in the United States,” Navarro said.
Co-host Sunny Hostin added that the legislation passed due to “bigotry,” saying it was “shameful” that Republicans are allegedly preventing children from learning about social injustices. (RELATED: ‘Weren’t Going To Back Down An Inch’: Gov. DeSantis Says Disney’s Special Privileges Were A Threat To The ‘Democratic Process’)
“I can explain why it’s happening. It’s because bigotry is on the ballot when it comes to Ron DeSantis,” Hostin said. “It’s not anti-Disney, it’s anti-black, it’s anti-gay, it’s anti-LGBTQ+ community, and for some reason, the Republican base responds to it. It’s anti-woke, and woke, what that really means when you look it up in the dictionary, it’s an awareness of social justice. It’s an awareness of marginalized communities.”
“And for some reason, Ron DeSantis and his Republican base, they don’t want people to know that there are social injustices going on in the country,” she continued. “They don’t want those people to be protected, and it’s shameful, it is so shameful that they don’t want our children to know about social injustices. That’s what this is about.”
Guest co-host Amber Ruffin called it a “genius” move by DeSantis for painting Disney as a “boogie man.”
“That’s what’s so smart about it,” Ruffin said. “I think it was a genius freaking move. All you have to do is create a boogie man and then say, ‘I’m going to protect you from the boogie man.’ It was black people, it’s LGBTQ, it’s the ‘Don’t Say Gay.’ It’s whatever is on the menu,” Ruffin said. “They’re rattling up their base with anger, and if you’re angry, we’re angry.”
Co-host Sara Haines said stripping tax benefits from Disney will hurt constituents while the country is grappling with record-high inflation. She claimed the move was part of a “national messaging campaign” for DeSantis in preparation for a potential 2024 presidential run.
Navarro said she hopes the Florida business sector “bands together and stands in solidarity” to defend their employees.
Disney responded to the state’s Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbing it as anti-LGBTQ and calling for its repeal and in a March 28 statement.