Bob Iger is once again pushing back at Ron DeSantis as the Florida governor’s ongoing feud with Disney shows no signs of backing down. While appearing on CNBC, Iger slammed DeSantis over his repeated claims that The Walt Disney Company is “grooming” children, which is becoming a catch-all phrase that far-right conservatives use to attack the LGBTQ community and their allies. Iger wasn’t having it.
“We are a pre-eminent entertainer in the world, and we are proud of our track record there,” Iger told CNBC via Deadline. “The notion that Disney is in any way sexualizing our children quite frankly is preposterous and inaccurate.”
While Iger reiterated his stance that he doesn’t want Disney to be “drawn in to any culture wars,” the CEO won’t tolerate DeSantis using the power of the state to retaliate against the company’s freedom of speech. Disney has already sued the state and DeSantis, and Iger made it clear that the entertainment giant isn’t messing around:
“We are concerned that he has decided to retaliate against the company for a position the company took on pending legislation in that state,” Iger said. “And frankly, the company was within its right, even though I’m not sure it was handled very well, it was within its right to speak out on an issue, a constitutionally protected right to free speech, and to retaliate against the company in a way that could be harmful to the business was not something we could sit back and tolerate.”
Iger also called out DeSantis’ rhetoric for sparking a Neo-Nazi demonstration outside of Walt Disney World, which only further pushed Iger to fight back. This isn’t going to end well, Meatball.
“It was horrifying, quite frankly, and it’s concerning to me that anyone would encourage a level of intolerance or even hate that frankly could even become dangerous action. It could be turned into some dangerous act of some sort,” Iger told CNBC. “So it is concerning to me.”