OPINION | This article contains opinion that reflects the author's views.
Disney appears to be throwing in the towel amid challenges from the state of Florida and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis.
In a public display of opposition, Disney and its CEO Bob Iger went “woke” and argued against an anti-grooming state bill that prevents teachers and school personnel from discussing sexual orientation or gender identity with children in kindergarten through grade 3 without parents.
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The bill passed and DeSantis signed it into law.
In retaliation, Disney doubled down on its position and vowed to influence young children on issues of gender and sexual orientation by making half of its characters part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Months later, in February 2023, DeSantis signed another bill ending Disney’s self-governing status and special privileges.
This allows Florida to establish a new state-controlled district, holding Disney accountable to the people of Florida.
In an interview, Disney CEO Bob Iger signaled that he’s interested in fixing Disney’s relationship with the state of Florida following the fallout.
Iger said, “I do not view this as a going-to-mattresses situation for us. If the governor of Florida wants to meet with me to discuss all of this, of course, I would be glad to do that.”
Iger says he is the type of person who “typically has respected our elected officials and the responsibility that they have” and would see no reason why he and DeSantis could not meet.
I signed legislation to end Disney’s self-governing status, placed the area in state receivership, and appointed 5 members to a state control board.
Disney no longer has its own government, will live under the same laws as everyone else and pay its debts and fair share of taxes. pic.twitter.com/5JnZmEjSdv
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) February 27, 2023
DeSantis says Disney has “gotten every single thing they want from the state of Florida” for 60 years.
“There’s a new sheriff in town,” DeSantis said. “And accountability will be the order of the day.”
“Today, the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” he said when signing the bill to end Disney’s self-governing status.
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained video from returning Disney CEO Bob Iger's first town hall with employees, in which he signals that he will work to "quiet things down" politically and move toward neutrality in the culture war.https://t.co/ZBGdHhxFVS pic.twitter.com/ZbMCZN4MlG
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) November 29, 2022
Today, Disney debuts a Super Bowl LVII commercial celebrating 100 Years of storytelling and shared memories: https://t.co/gfw85Azn50 pic.twitter.com/Um4VfllYHW
— The Walt Disney Company (@WaltDisneyCo) February 12, 2023