(Headline USA) After a public battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the district that governs Walt Disney World announced this week that it is abolishing all of its diversity, equity and inclusion programs and hiring requirements.
Glenton Gilzean, director of the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, which has direct oversight of the massive theme park and its resorts, announced this week that all DEI policies will be reversed.
“Our district will no longer participate in any attempt to divide us by race or advance the notion that we are not created equal,” he said. “The so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives were advanced during the tenure of the previous board and they were illegal and simply unAmerican.”
The DEI hiring practices had been implemented by the previous governing district, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which was appointed and directed by Disney itself. This governing body was dissolved by DeSantis and the Florida legislature earlier this year after Disney took a public stance against DeSantis’s efforts to push back on wokeism in his state.
The new governing body conducted an internal investigation into Disney’s policies, and found that the Disney-appointed Reedy Creek district “routinely awarded contracts based on racially and gender driven goals to businesses on the basis of their owners’ race and gender.”
Once Reedy Creek entered into contracts with these businesses, they would “aggressively monitor contractor’s racial and gender practices, wasting taxpayer dollars.”
Disney sued DeSantis over his takeover of the self-governing district in April, claiming the governor retaliated against the company’s free speech.
“Frankly, the company was within its right – even though I’m not sure it was handled very well – was within its right to speak up on an issue, constitutionally protected right of free speech,” Disney CEO Bob Iger claimed. “To retaliate against the company in a way that would be harmful to the business was not something we could sit back and tolerate.”