On Monday, during The Walt Disney Company’s annual shareholder meeting, Disney CEO Bob Iger commented on the ongoing dispute between the company and Florida legislatures.

The Walt Disney World Resort and the state of Florida have recently underwent a few changes, including a bill signed earlier this year by Governor Ron DeSantis, which removed Walt Disney World’s self-governing Reedy Creek Improvement District. Since, the area has become the Central Florida Tourism Overusing District, which includes Board members picked by DeSantis to oversee the governance of Walt Disney World.

“A year ago, the company took a position on pending Florida legislation,” Iger said. “And 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.”

(Photo by Charley Gallay/Getty Images for Disney)

He added: “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. And that just seems really wrong to me.”

Iger revealed the company plans to spend more than $17 billion in investments at Walt Disney World over the next decade, which would create around 13,000 jobs at the company and generate even more taxes for Florida. During the presentation, the CEO also noted that Disney has more than 75,000 employees in the state, and has created thousands of indirect jobs, as well as bringing over 50 million visitors to Florida every year.

“Our point on this is that any action that supports those efforts simply to retaliate for a position the company took sounds not just anti-business, but it sounds anti-Florida,” he said. “And I’ll just leave it at that.”

What are your thoughts on Bob Iger’s comments? Let us know in the comments! 

Sean Sposato
The Main Street Mouse