Iger Fights Back

One thing is for sure, the Walt Disney Company has plenty of good vs. evil stories to draw from as it finds itself in an existential fight for the control of the planning/permitting, land management and utilities provisions of Walt Disney World. Not surprisingly, the topic came up during the Annual Meeting. CEO Bob Iger described the actions against Disney as anti-business and “anti-Florida”.

The company has a right to freedom of speech just like individuals do. The governor got very angry about the position that Disney took, and it seems like he’s decided to retaliate against us… in effect to seek to punish a company for its exercise of a constitutional right. And that just seems really wrong to me – against any company or individual, but particularly against a company that means so much to the state that you live in. – Disney CEO Bob Iger

Iger went on to say that Disney would be investing $17b in Disney World over the next decade, add 13,000 new cast member roles. Not to mention the ancillary benefits to the local community of suppliers, contractors, and tourist support businesses that serve the guests that come to Disney World. Iger also pointed out that Disney World has generated millions in tax dollars to Osceola and Orange Counties as well as the State of Florida.

When asked about the wisdom of wading into “woke” wars, Iger said that what is best for the company is doing what is best for its cast members. He understands the view by some that Disney is creating agenda-driven content, but said that by creating inclusive content, Disney is seeking to reach its broadest audience.

Who notes Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has accused Disney of operating outside Florida law but has not pointed to any specific state statute broken by former CEO Bob Chapek’s comments regarding the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law nor by the Reedy Creek Improvement District outgoing board’s long term agreement with the Walt Disney Company…

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