Bob Iger says Ron DeSantis is retaliating against Disney and that a company has a right to freedom of speech

Apr 03, 2023 in "The Walt Disney Company"

Posted: Monday April 3, 2023 1:51pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

At today's Walt Disney Company shareholders meeting question and answer session, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked about the situation regarding the ongoing battle with the state of Florida, particularly Governor Ron DeSantis.

In his response, Bob described the company's significant contribution to the state of Florida, and he was clear that he views the position of Ron DeSantis as "retaliating against Disney" for its opposition to the Parental Right Bill. And he added that the Governor's response "seems really wrong to me."

In regards to the handling of the issue by then-CEO Bob Chapek, Iger commented that, "A company has a right to freedom of speech."

He continued by discussing the contribution that Disney makes to the state of Florida, by directly employing 75,000, being the largest tax payer in Florida, attracting 50 million visitors each year, and bringing 8 million of them from outside the US.

Today's comments by Iger are the first public statement that he has made regarding the continuing escalation of Disney vs. Florida, which shows no signs of slowing.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis orders an investigation into Reedy Creek Improvement District as the state appears to have been outmaneuvered by Disney

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mkt49 minutes ago

What you view as “political activism with philosophic goals” was viewed by them at one point as a sound business strategy. They didn’t do it for the goodness of their heart, or desire to make lasting cultural and societal change: they did it because they thought they could make money in doing so. They’re a business, not “true believers”.

MisterPenguin2 hours ago

The Lending Tree "poll" was posted here to point out how political bias is affecting how some people opt for or against a Disney vacation. But, this tangent is now about the incredulity and mechanics of borrowing, which has it's own thread here...

Figgy12 hours ago

more or less

DisneyJayBama2 hours ago

“Disney is not a political activist with philosophic goals they want to achieve.” You may want to tell Disney that!

bwr8273 hours ago

They’re a loan company and want to increase brand awareness. So, they picked an interesting topic that generally relates to their business and is likely to get media pickup and funded a survey. Now they’ve got some attention and conversation going, and in the process they’ll get mentions about who they are and what they do.

John park hopper3 hours ago

Am I understanding this-- the state of Florida is allowing Disney to invest 17 billion but Disney is not obligated to spend 17 billion

Bullseye19677 hours ago

Ouch! I wouldn't care to push over 20% of potential customers away, but is Lending Tree really a polling company? Why would they have a Disney poll?

mkt13 hours ago

mkt13 hours ago

Like I said repeatedly, this was a shakedown for political contributions.

Stripes14 hours ago

DeSantis has gone from labeling The Walt Disney Company a bunch of pedophilic groomers to publicly celebrating their future investments and expansion of power in his state. And all it took was money. Give it 5 years.

CntrlFlPete15 hours ago

well, FL law will have him sit the next race out, but he could run again after someone else has spent a term as GOV.

James Alucobond15 hours ago

If only that were what any of this had actually been about. 🤔

MR.Dis15 hours ago

No, that will not happen. As I said some 1000 pages ago, that ship has sailed. The truth, both parties thought it was problematic that Disney had complete control over the district. Now many have stated that there are other districts in the state--but there are none that cover some 40 square miles and generate billions of dollars in revenue. There is no way they either party is going to support Disney getting complete control again.

Dranth16 hours ago

Corporations do this all the time to try and protect their businesses they just aren't normally run by inept clowns like Chapek who put it out there for all to see. If DeSantis decides to run again after his mandatory four year cool down, they may well want to dump a lot of back door money to a primary or general opponent if they think he will target them again for any reason.