Veteran media personality Megyn Kelly warned that a Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis-led effort to revoke Disney’s special tax district following a flap over the state’s “Don’t Say Gay” law could be overturned if it faces a legal challenge.
Kelly detailed her concerns about DeSantis’ action against Disney during Monday’s episode of her podcast “The Megyn Kelly Show” — noting the Republican governor and prospective 2024 presidential candidate has been “very clear” the move was a response to the Mouse House’s public criticism of the law.
“I’m actually more concerned about what DeSantis is doing from a First Amendment perspective,” Kelly said. “I actually think there’s a very decent chance that a court is going to strike this down as viewpoint discrimination by the government against a corporation — which is not lawful.”
“It doesn’t mean it’s the wrong strategic move — he’s punching the bully in the nose, might have to go to the principal for it, might get suspended, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the wrong thing to do,” Kelly added.
DeSantis signed a GOP-backed bill revoking Disney’s special tax status, which effectively allowed the entertainment giant to self-govern its sprawling theme park district in Florida.
Florida’s Republican-controlled state government passed the legislation after Disney condemned the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which bars teachers discussing LGBTQ topics like sexual orientation or gender identity with students in third grade or below.
The company’s public remarks, which followed an intense backlash from left-leaning Disney employees who slammed executives for initially staying silent, infuriated DeSantis – who said Disney had “crossed the line” by weighing in on the law’s passage.
Kelly’s guest, National Review senior writer Charles C. W. Cooke, said the removal of Disney’s special status was a “really unusual move for DeSantis,” who, he argued, typically “doesn’t enter into these sort of rash, Twitter-driven politics.”
Kelly, a former anchor at Fox News and NBC News, said it is “pretty clear, if a legal challenge were to come, he wouldn’t be able to get out of it by saying it wasn’t retaliatory.”
She added that DeSantis’ move could provide more fodder for progressives to pursue similar action against corporations who act in ways they find disagreeable.
“If there’s some newfound way of punishing corporations for their political views – and usually that’s expressed through contributions — the left is going to do this every day of the week and twice on Sunday. They’re going to be doing it at the federal level, too,” Kelly said.
So far, Disney has yet to reveal whether it plans to take legal action in response to its dispute with Florida Republicans.
Meanwhile, the company already has multiple suitors attempting to lure Disney into relocating – including Colorado’s Democratic Gov. Jared Polis and a Texas judge who invited the company to the Lone Star State.
Mediate was first to note Kelly’s remarks on the Disney saga.