The Central Florida Tourism Oversight District announced on Tuesday that all diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Disney’s governing district have been abolished, NBC News reported.
The group said in a statement that the governing district’s DEI committee and any jobs related to it would be eliminated. Additionally, any initiatives remaining from when Disney controlled the district will also be scrapped, including the program to award contracts based on achieving gender or racial equity.
District Administration Glenton Gilzean, the former head of the Urban League of Central Florida, described the DEI initiatives as “illegal” and “un-American.”
Gilzean said in the statement that the district will not “participate” in attempts to “divide us by race” nor will it “advance” the idea that all people “are not created equal.”
The conservative Gilzean, who is also a DeSantis appointee to the Florida Commission on Ethics, said that as a former head of a civil rights organization, he believes that communities thrive “when we work together despite our differences.”
Last spring, Florida Governor Ron Desantis signed a law blocking public colleges in the state from using state or federal funding for DEI programs.
The governor also signed the “Stop WOKE Act” which prevents businesses, colleges, and schools from providing DEI training, including instructing people that a particular race is inherently privileged or oppressed.
The state’s creation of the Reedy Creek Improvement District was instrumental in attracting Disney to build its theme park resort near Orlando in the sixties. The district served as a separate governing body, allowing Disney to control zoning, utilities, fire protection, and infrastructure service.
The Reedy Creek Improvement District was controlled by Disney allies for more than fifty years until Governor DeSantis and the Florida legislature stripped Disney of control.