Last week, Florida governor Ron DeSantis’ plan to screw over the biggest company in his state boomeranged spectacularly. His plan was to strip Disney of control over its special governing district, replacing one board with another packed with cronies. But when said cronies held their first meeting, they discovered Disney had cleverly circumvented that plan, stripping them of almost all power. It was pure humiliation, but the company isn’t done with him just yet.
As per The New York Times, during Disney’s annual shareholders meeting on Monday, Bob Iger, the company’s head honcho, made a rare public comment about the governor who’s had it out for them, all because they dared defend the existence of LGBTQIA+ people. He did not hold back, calling DeSantis’ efforts to punish the gigantic corporation “not just anti-business,” but “anti-Florida” as well.
“It seems like he’s decided to retaliate against us,” Iger said, calling out DeSantis for trying “to punish a company for its exercise of a constitutional right.” He added, “That seems really wrong to me.”
DeSantis turned on Disney after they opposed — eventually — his so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which uses vague language to scare teachers from so much as acknowledging the existence of LGBTQIA+ people. But his efforts haven’t scared Iger, who returned to his position as company CEO after briefly handing the reins to Bob Chapek.
“We’re currently planning now to invest over $17 billion in Disney World over the next 10 years,” Iger told shareholders. He said they’re planning on expansion plans that will add 13,000 new jobs within the company, which currently employs 75,000 at Disney World alone. On top of that, their actions would likely lead to “thousands of indirect jobs” as well. That should make Florida even more flush with cash.
Iger seemed baffled that DeSantis would want to mess with that just to appear tough to his base, saying that “any action that thwarts those efforts simply to retaliate for a position the company took sounds not just anti-business, but it sounds anti-Florida.”
DeSantis was humiliated last week when it was discovered how Disney was able to thwart his nefarious plan to neuter them. Back in February, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, which served as the governing jurisdiction of the land lorded over by Disney, signed an agreement effectively direct control of the district’s development rights and privileges over to the mega-corporation.
This wasn’t done in secret; it was done in the open. DeSantis and team just never did anything to stop them. Perhaps the governor was too busy railing against “woke” culture and eating pudding with his hands to notice that he’d been had.