Following the Mouse House’s highly publicized opposition to the Parental Rights in Education Act last year, Disney CEO Bob Iger has signaled his interest in a reconciliation with the state of Florida and its governor, Ron DeSantis.
“I do not view this as a going-to-mattresses situation for us,” Iger told Time in an interview published Thursday regarding the ongoing tension, most recently regarding governing authority over the land where Disney’s theme parks reside in the Sunshine State.
“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 added.
The CEO went on to say that he is the type of individual “who has typically respected our elected officials and the responsibility that they carry” and that he sees no reason why he and DeSantis could not meet.
Iger’s reference to “all of this” dates back to at least March 2022, when the parental rights measure was signed into law by the governor.
The “Don’t Say Gay” bill, as it was dubbed by critics, stands for the fundamental, widely accepted tenet that students in kindergarten through third grade should not be taught about sexuality and gender identity, while older students should receive age-appropriate instruction.
As governor and father of children ages 6, 4, and 2, DeSantis told Fox News in February that safeguarding children’s innocence was his number one priority.
“When this issue came up with the sexualization of the curriculum, of course in Florida we think that that’s inappropriate,” the Republican said.
DeSantis gave credit to the left for trying the Disney angle to get him not to sign the Parental Rights bill “because for 60 years in the state of Florida they have gotten every single thing they want from the state of Florida until I became governor, and we said, ‘No, you’re not running the state of Florida; we’re running the state of Florida.’”
A month after signing the parental rights measure, DeSantis signed legislation ending the Disney district’s special self-governing status in Florida.
Additionally, he signed into law in February a bill requiring the governor to appoint “a five-member board to oversee the government services that the Disney district provides.”
“Today, the corporate kingdom finally comes to an end,” DeSantis said at a bill-signing ceremony in Lake Buena Vista at the time. “There’s a new sheriff in town, and accountability will be the order of the day.”
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
The area encompassing the Disney theme parks is designated as the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District by the new law. Previously, it was the Reedy Creek Improvement District, governed by a council elected by the district’s landowners, with Disney holding the majority of seats.
The Hill reported that shortly before its dissolution, the Reedy Creek board voted to transfer the majority of the district’s governing powers to the Disney corporation.
In March, a representative from the office of DeSantis told WESH-TV that the new agreement reached by the outgoing board is unlikely to stand.
“At an initial glance, the contracts that were shoved through at the last minute are likely void as a matter of law,” the official said in a statement.
DeSantis noted at the time, “There’s a lot of little back and forth going on now with the state control,” adding, “But rest assured — you ain’t seen nothing yet. There’s more to come in that regard.”
Following last year’s controversy between Disney and DeSantis and disappointing box office results for “Lightyear” and other Disney films, the company’s board dismissed then-CEO Bob Chapek and replaced him with Iger, who had been Disney’s CEO from 2005 to 2020.
Iger stated, upon assuming the helm, that he intended to “calm things down” on the political front.
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
More on this story via The Western Journal:
Iger told Time, “Our sole goal in Florida is to continue creating that value for all those constituencies. All we want is a relationship with the state that enables us to continue to do that. CONTINUE READING…