Disney Wins Lawsuit, Was Not Negligent in Condemning DeSantis’s “Don’t Say Gay”

in Disney, Walt Disney World

gay pride parade with LGBTQ Disney cast members

Credit: National Geographic

As The Walt Disney Company fights with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis over a trial date, a separate Disney lawsuit related to the Parental Rights in Education Act (“Don’t Say Gay”) is over.

After days of protest, former Disney CEO Bob Chapek condemned the controversial, anti-LGBTQIA+ law in early 2022. Disney Cast Members and fans discovered The Walt Disney Company’s previous campaign donations to legislators that supported the law, successfully nudging Chapek to pause political contributions.

Kenneth Simeone, a Disney investor, sued the House of Mouse that December, accusing the company of allowing personal views to impact the company’s decisions negligently.

a couple shares a rainbow mickey rice crispy treat
Credit: Gay Day Anaheim

“The financial repercussions from Disney’s actions, and resulting harm to the company and its stockholders, have been swift and severe,” Simeone said at the time.

While it’s true that Disney’s response caused DeSantis to take over Walt Disney World Resort’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, the Delaware judge found the company was not negligent in its condemnation of “Don’t Say Gay.”

Judge Lori Will of Delaware’s Court of Chancery said Simeone’s lawsuit was improperly directed by a conservative legal group, the Thomas More Society, according to ReutersDisney won’t have to turn over the years of records, including internal board member e-mails, sought by Sieone to prove the company’s negligence.

Don't Say Gay Bill Protest outside Walt Disney World
Credit: Save LGBT

Will said that while speaking against “Don’t Say Gay” might’ve been a bad business decision, Simeone couldn’t misuse a piece of Delaware law meant to investigate board room misdeeds to “search for hypothetical conflicts.”

“The plaintiff’s counsel and the Thomas More Society are entitled to their beliefs,” Will wrote, but the corporate records lawsuit “is not a vehicle to advance them.”

Simeone and Disney haven’t spoken publicly about the end of the lawsuit.

What will the outcome of the Disney vs. DeSantis lawsuit be? Share your thoughts with Inside the Magic in the comments.

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