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Bob Iger slaps down Ron DeSantis, accusing him of retaliation against Disneys right to Free Speech

Speaking today, April 3 at The Walt Disney Company 2023 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, CEO Bob Iger addressed the current controversy surrounding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis apparent war on the company.


Iger said that The Walt Disney Company were exercising their right to free speech and that now Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is retaliating against them and their right to free speech.


Iger proudly proclaimed “We love the State of Florida,” before pointing out the company’s many investments in the local community over the years, he in turn, also acknowledged that he respected and appreciated what the State has done for Disney.


He then went on to reference Disney's response to the Don’t Say Gay controversy (Parental Rights in Education bill), and said that although he thought that the situation was not well handled, Disney still has a right to free speech.


“While the company may have not handled the position that it took very well, a company has a right to freedom of speech, just like individuals do, and obviously in taking the position, the governor got very angry about the position Disney took, and seems like he’s decided to retaliate against us, including the naming of a new board to oversee the property and the business, in effect to seek to punish a company for its exercise of a constitutional right,”


He directly accused Governor DeSantis of retaliating against Disney and punishing them for exercising a constitutional right.


He claimed that “Any action that supports those efforts simply to retaliate for a position Disney took sounds not just anti-business, but it sounds anti-Florida, and I’ll just leave it at that”


This is in reference to DeSantis and his apparent war against Disney ever since they condemned the Don't Say Gay bill, including taking over Reedy Creek with the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District board.


Iger said it seems “really wrong” for DeSantis to punish and call out a company that loves and provides so much for the state of Florida “in the form of jobs and community service taxes... tourism, of course, and all sorts of other responsible business practices.”


Igor pointed out the importance of Disney to Florida, and what the company bring to the table, with over 75,000 employees in Florida and the 50 million plus visitors they have brought to the state this year alone, including 8 million internationally.


Igor went on to reveal that Disney is set to invest billions in Walt Disney World over the next 10 years, bringing thousands of new jobs to the area.


The Disney CEO also pointed out that Disney is the largest taxpayer in the state.


Bob Iger slaps down Ron DeSantis

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