Iger Regrets Disney’s Political Battle with Florida, DeSantis Responds

Disney in Court over Response to 'Don't Say Gay' Law

When Bob Iger suddenly returned as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, many outspoken fans saw the change as an opportunity for Disney to retract from its “woke” direction.

While Iger made it clear he does not regret seeing the company stand behind many of its people, he expressed his dismay at the distracting damage the political bouts did to the company and its fans over the course of the year.

bob iger at town hall

Bob Iger at the Town Hall

Related: Bob Iger Suggests Disney Will Stay Out of Politics, But Won’t Reverse “Woke” Policies

“I think that some of the subjects that have proven to be ‘controversial’ as it relates to Disney have been branded political, and I don’t necessarily believe they are,” he said. “Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy? Of course not. It can be distracting and can have a negative impact on the company. To the extent that I can work to quiet things down, I’m going to do that.”

“I think it is important to put in perspective what some of these subjects are and not just simply brand them political,” he added.

Disney's Strange World

Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Unlikely to Become Less “Woke” Under Iger

Bob Iger Regrets Losing Reedy Creek

Beginning with its outspoken stance against the State of Florida’s decision to pass the Parental Rights in Education Bill into law, The Walt Disney Company found itself on one side of a culture war that affected both its Parks, movie and television divisions. The backlash to the Mouse House’s “not-so-secret gay agenda” included full-blown protests, record-setting box office bombs–most recent of which was Walt Disney Animation’s Strange World–and the potential loss of its Reedy Creek Improvement District and the special autonomy it provided within The Sunshine State.

“I was sorry to see us dragged into that battle, and I have no idea exactly what its ramifications are in terms of the business itself,” he continued. “What I can say is that the state of Florida has been important to us for a long time, and we have been very important to the state of Florida.”

Disney DeSantis

Gov. DeSantis: “All we did was stand up for what’s right.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis responded to Iger’s statements in an interview with Fox News Host Tucker Carlson, in which he said:

“We didn’t drag them in, Tucker. They went in on their own, and not only opposed the bill. They threatened to get it repealed.”

“These are parents’ rights, important policies in our state that are very popular. And so they brought this on themselves,” he continued. “All we did was stand up for what’s right. And, yes, they’re a big, powerful company. But you know what? We stand up for our folks. And I don’t care what a Burbank-based California company says about our laws.”

Passed by significant margins in both Florida’s State House and Senate, the Reedy Creek Improvement District will be dissolved by Summer 2023 due to the fact that it was not in alignment with the ratified State Constitution. The most likely scenario, at this point, is that the Reedy Creek Improvement Act will be amended to regain its constitutional status, and the area will remain intact with fewer freedoms than before.

Bob Iger only returned to the helm a little over a week ago. Only time will tell just how much politics will continue to outshine the stories, magic, and overall escape from the real world for which its brand was beloved for most of its 100 years.

We at Disney Fanatic will continue to update our readers on Disney news and stories as more developments come to light.

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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