Florida Might Return Disney’s Special Privileges After CEO Bemoans Company’s Political Activism; But There’s A Huge Catch

Lawmakers in Florida are currently working to reverse the state government’s move to end the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a special zone that hosted Disney theme parks and allowed the entertainment conglomerate to enjoy taxation and regulatory privileges, according to a report from the Financial Times.
The pivot from state lawmakers came after Disney voiced opposition earlier this year to a Florida law prohibiting instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity for students between kindergarten and third grade.
Last week, however, former Disney CEO Bob Chapek, who caved to activists within the company and rebuked Florida over the law, was unexpectedly ousted and replaced by his predecessor, Bob Iger. The seasoned executive expressed contrition over the move in a town hall meeting with employees, where he remarked that the company should not have been “dragged into that battle” and confirmed he will work to “quiet things down” politically.
Florida lawmakers appear to have taken notice. “It’s easier to shift policy when you don’t have to defend the old policy,” State Representative Randy Fine (R-FL), who drafted the legislation to end the special privileges, told the Financial Times. “Chapek screwed up, but Bob Iger doesn’t have to own that screw-up.”
The move may not be a wholesale victory for the iconic company. State Senator Linda Stewart (D-FL) told the Financial Times that DeSantis, who overwhelmingly won a second term last month, could be permitted to appoint two individuals to the board of the Reedy Creek Improvement District under the new arrangement, among other changes. Lawmakers’ earlier revocation of the special zone does not take effect until next summer.
Shares for Disney have fallen nearly 38% since the beginning of the year, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has declined roughly 7% over the same period. Among other concerning metrics, Disney reported a significant slowdown in new domestic subscriptions for streaming service Disney+ after leaping into the fray of contentious social issues.
During an interview earlier this week, Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) said that Disney brought the rebuke from the legislature upon themselves. “We didn’t drag them in,” he commented. “They went in on their own, and not only opposed the bill. They threatened to get it repealed.”
When asked about the parental rights legislation, Iger affirmed that “LGBTQ employees” at Disney are “very important to us” and noted that the company would continue promoting “inclusion” in its work. However, he cited a “delicate balance” between telling stories and “listening” to audience members. “It’s important to have respect for the people that you’re serving, that you’re trying to reach, and not have disdain for them,” he said.
The comments from Iger, who is reportedly less centrist in his personal politics than Chapek, occurred after “Strange World,” an animated film featuring a homosexual teenage romance, fizzled at the box office during what should have been a strong holiday weekend opening. “Lightyear,” the latest installment in the popular “Toy Story” franchise, featured a same-sex kiss and likewise struggled at the box office.
Go to Source Florida Might Return Disney’s Special Privileges After CEO Bemoans Company’s Political Activism; But There’s A Huge Catch
The Daily Wire
December 2, 2022