Disney CEO Bob Iger says he’s very open to sitting down with Florida’s governor to discuss the ongoing and escalating battle between the entertainment giant and the Sunshine State.
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Last week, Disney CEO Bob Iger was named among TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People, an honor that the publication bestows upon artists, philanthropists, musicians, actors, athletes, and corporate and political leaders whose influence has been instrumental in shaping the year’s events. On TIME’s 2023 list, Iger rubs elbows with 99 other influential people around the world, including Super Bowl LVII MVP Patrick Mahomes, star of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, Pedro Pascal, singer-songwriter Beyonce, Tesla founder-turned-Twitter-owner Elon Musk, and Ukrainian First Lady Olena Zelenska.
Disney CEO Bob Iger has been named one of TIME Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2023. In the interview, Iger discusses layoffs, DeSantis, and how he has been at Disney for 50 of the 100 years. pic.twitter.com/mBBOrFDzHv
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) April 13, 2023
During an interview with the magazine, Iger discussed the ways in which he is managing the current phase of The Walt Disney Company’s journey, where he goes when he needs advice, and whether he actually feels like he is influential. He also touched on the current battle between The Walt Disney Company and the state of Florida–a battle that began in early 2022 and continues to escalate.
“I do not view this as a going-to-mattresses situation for us,” Iger told TIME.
Since March 2022, a battle has been brewing between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and The Walt Disney Company, beginning when Disney stuck its proverbial nose into Florida politics. Disney took a loud and public stance of opposition to an education bill passed by the Florida legislature.
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Only weeks before, Disney’s then-CEO Bob Chapek reportedly attempted to steer clear of meddling in Florida politics, but after pressure from some of the Cast Members within the company, he caved, ultimately speaking out against the proposed legislation just before it passed. Following the signing of the bill into law, Chapek issued yet another public statement of opposition to the bill that Disney felt simply should have never been made law.
In retaliation, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill to dissolve Disney’s Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special tax district incepted in the late 1960s that effectively allowed Disney World to execute its own practices of self-government. As time marched on toward July 1, 2023–the date on which the law was to go into effect–the storm between the Sunshine State and the House of Mouse seemed to calm a bit.
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But the battle has been reignited in recent weeks, becoming even louder than ever.
In his interview with TIME, Iger said he’s completely open to sitting down with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in an effort to talk out their differences.
“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 said.
At this time, Governor DeSantis has yet to respond to Iger’s offer, and as this is a developing situation, updates will be shared as they become available.