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DeSantis-Appointed Board Eliminating Minority-Based Hiring, Contracting at Disney World

The tourism board appointed by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to oversee Disney World and its complex announced Tuesday that it will abolish all of its efforts to pursue diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives.

release from the board said the initiatives “discriminated against Americans based on gender and race, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.”

“The so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives were advanced during the tenure of the previous board and they were illegal and simply unamerican,” district administrator Glenton Gilzean said in a statement. “Our district will no longer participate in any attempt to divide us by race or advance the notion that we are not created equal.”

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, created earlier this year by law, replaced the previous members, who had been appointed by the company. The change in leadership sparked lawsuits between Disney and the state over DeSantis’s and the district’s authority.

Following the move, Disney sued the state, alleging that DeSantis was targeting the company because of its political opinions. DeSantis has since shot back, despite warnings from other Republicans.

DEI initiatives, including those that encourage government agencies to hire minority-owned contractors or hire more minority employees, have been a key target in DeSantis’s policy platform.

A Florida bill this spring banned the practices at state universities.

DeSantis’s feud with Disney has been ongoing since the district board was replaced this spring. Disney initially criticized DeSantis for a bill he signed — branded as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill — that limits the teaching of gender and sexual orientation in schools. 

The canceled DEI programs at the district include a program that required contractors to hire a certain quota of women and minority employees. The statement claims the district had to pay millions more dollars in order to hire contractors that met those requirements.

Source : The Hill