The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said in a statement to investors that the company will “quiet the noise” in the ongoing social war with conservatives (via Reuters).
Iger and Disney Parks, Experiences & Products Chairman Josh D’Amaro spoke to investors and analysts at Walt Disney World this week about the future of Disney Parks, stating they have “over 1,000 acres of land” and were budgeting $60 billion for theme park expansion.
Disney and conservative Governor Ron DeSantis have been locked in battle since Disney denounced Florida’s controversial Parental Rights in Education law. Disney received criticism for their political contributions to campaigns and individuals that seemed against their own stated principles. Then-retired Bob Iger denounced the bill, followed by Disney’s then-CEO Bob Chapek.
Governor DeSantis and the Florida Legislature then launched a campaign to dissolve the Reedy Creek Improvement District where Walt Disney World Resort resides. Ultimately, DeSantis took over the district, renaming it the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District, and appointing his own conservative board of supervisors.
After the CFTOD Board attempted to declare Disney’s final agreements with RCID null and void, Disney filed a federal lawsuit against the Board and DeSantis, calling their actions a violation of their constitutional rights. The Board then filed a state lawsuit against Disney, and Disney is now countersuing on the state level.
In addition to the District battle, conservatives have criticized Disney for hiring Black actress Halle Bailey to portray Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” including a same-sex interracial couple in “Lightyear,” closing Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom and Disneyland, and more moves that have been part of Disney’s attempts at diversity and inclusivity.
Iger’s wish to “quiet the noise” echoes previous statements he has made on the subject. After he was re-hired as CEO in November 2022, he said during a town hall with employees that he wanted to “work to quiet things down.”
In response to a question about a “woke agenda” during the April shareholders meeting, Iger said, “Our primary mission needs to be to entertain … and to have a positive impact on the world. I’m very serious about that. It should not be agenda-driven.”
Reuters could not immediately reach Disney for comment.