Stephen Colbert took aim at the Florida legislature on Wednesday night, mocking the state Senate’s decision to pass a bill to revoke Walt Disney World’s self-governing and tax privileges.
The move was the latest in a political battle between the corporation and the state after Disney publicly condemned Florida’s passage of its controversial “Don’t Say Gay” legislation. Gov. Ron DeSantis had responded recently threatening the self-governing may come to an end.
“DeSantis wants Disney to return to celebrating traditional family units — one woman and seven dwarves, as God intended,” Colbert joked during his “The Late Show” monologue.
He continued: “Some question whether a private company should be allowed to self govern, but Disney’s done what no other company has. Captured every single president.” (A reference to Magic Kingdom’s Hall of Presidents.)
The bill that passed in the state Senate on Wednesday moves to axe an exemption that allows Disney to govern itself on Disney World grounds, including having its own fire department and board of supervisors, as well as its ability to oversee land and environmental regulations. It allows the company to save tens of millions a year in regulations, taxes and fees.
The Florida Senate also passed another bill to remove Disney’s exemption from a law passed last year that aims to limit big tech censorship. The bills have not yet passed Florida’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and Gov. DeSantis would still need to sign them.
Colbert called the bills “an odd decision from the supposedly pro-business party, especially considering Disney is Florida’s largest private employer.”
“Not only that, Disney’s also the reason anyone goes to Florida other than spring break and to die,” he joked.