DeSantis Picks Fight With Bud Light Amid Disney Spat

  • DeSantis has feuded with Disney for over a year, but now seems to have set his sights on Bud Light.
  • DeSantis has directed an inquiry into AB InBev after Bud Light partnered with a trans influencer.
  • The move will likely add to accusations that DeSantis is retaliating against businesses.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis really doesn’t like when companies don’t embrace his “where woke goes to die” agenda. The latest culprit? Bud Light.

DeSantis has been feuding with Disney for more than a year after the company spoke out against the Parental Rights in Education Act, dubbed by critics the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which restricted discussions of sexuality and gender for certain grades in public school classrooms.

Shortly after Disney denounced the bill, DeSantis moved to revoke the company’s special self-governing status. Complaints about Disney’s special status went back decades, but the state government didn’t do anything about it until the company said something the governor didn’t like. DeSantis said Disney had “crossed the line” and that the state would “fight back.”

Disney sued DeSantis for retaliation and violating the company’s First Amendment rights — a charge the governor and the state has denied.

But it appears the lawsuit has not deterred DeSantis, who now seems to be picking a fight with an entirely different company that dared to take action that defied his anti-woke agenda.

DeSantis announced Thursday he was directing the state government to conduct an inquiry into its stock holdings in AB InBev, the parent company of Bud Light, in the wake of its partnering with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney and the associated financial fallout.

Many conservatives boycotted Bud Light as a result. The popular beer brand has seen a decline in sales that has lasted longer than experts expected. The falling sales numbers have also caused AB InBev’s stock value to decline

DeSantis said the company “may have breached legal duties owed to its shareholder” and caused financial harm to Florida pensioners. He told Fox News the inquiry could result in a “derivative lawsuit filed on behalf of the shareholders of the Florida pension fund.”

“Because at the end of the day, there’s got to be penalties for when you put business aside to focus on your social agenda, at the expense of hardworking people,” DeSantis said.

He made it clear this was also about his crusade against any company that “goes woke,” writing on Twitter: “All options are on the table and woke corporations that put ideology ahead of returns should be on notice.”

It’s notable that DeSantis is taking issue with the financial fallout Bud Light has experienced as a result of partnering with Mulvaney — when DeSantis himself encouraged consumers to boycott the brand.

The move is also unlikely to quell accusations, including from fellow Republicans, that the governor is retaliating against businesses and thus violating free-speech and small-government principles.

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