DeSantis-controlled oversight district eliminates Disney World’s diversity, equity and inclusion committee

by WorldTribune Staff / 247 Real News August 2, 2023

Walt Disney World’s diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) programs were eliminated from the entertainment company’s now-state-controlled governing district on Tuesday.

Monorail passes in front of EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth.

The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District said in a statement that its diversity, equity and inclusion committee would be eliminated, as would any job duties connected to it, The Associated Press reported.

Glenton Gilzean, the oversight district’s new administrator, called DEI initiatives “illegal and simply un-American.”

“Our district will no longer participate in any attempt to divide us by race or advance the notion that we are not created equal,” Gilzean, who was appointed to the position by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, said in a statement. “As the former head of the Central Florida Urban League, a civil rights organization, I can say definitively that our community thrives only when we work together despite our differences.”

The district, previously the Reedy Creek Improvement District, had been controlled by Disney supporters for more than five decades.

DeSantis took over the district through legislation passed by Republican lawmakers and appointed a new board of supervisors to oversee municipal services for Disney World’s theme parks and hotels.

DeSantis appointees took control of the renamed district earlier this year. Last year, Disney publicly opposed a state law banning classroom lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in early grades, a policy critics falsely refer to as the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

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