The CEO of the American giant wishes to appease the conflict which opposes the company to Florida since the vote of a law deemed homophobic, in March.
Calm the game. Recalled after two years of absence at the head of the entertainment empire, Bob Iger played the card of appeasement last Monday in the burning ideological showdown which has opposed Disney to the State for several months. from Florida on LGBTQ+ rights.
“Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy? Of course not», said Bob Iger on November 28, during an internal conference at Disney, in response to an employee who asked him about the political commitment of the company. “It can be distracting; this can have a negative impact on the company. I will try to calm things down as much as possible.” added the CEO of Disney, while renewing his commitment to the values “of inclusion, acceptance and tolerance”.
Under the leadership of Bob Chapek, fired in November, Disney had committed in March against a controversial law adopted by the Florida Senate, after having initially drawn the wrath of its employees for not having taken a stand on this subject. Nicknamed “Don’t Say Gay” by its opponents, the law in question prohibits, in primary school, “discussing in the school setting topics related to sexual orientation or gender identity”.
Do not compromise on values
“I was heartbroken to see us drawn into this battlealso said Bob Iger about this dispute. The State of Florida has long been important to us, and we have been very important to the State of Florida. It’s something I’m very aware of and will express if I get the chance.” The American magnate nevertheless made it known that the values defended by Disney were not, according to him, “politics” and that he did not intend to compromise on it in the vain hope “to make everyone happy”.
The passing of the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law had outraged many Disney employees in Florida. One of the giant’s two huge parks in the United States, the Disney World complex in Orlando employs nearly 75,000 people. Voices were raised in the spring to demand the resignation of Bob Chapek after the disastrous management of the Floridian file. The short-lived CEO was finally fired in November, amid financial turmoil for Disney.
Disney’s commitment to this issue had enraged the Republican Party, in power in Florida. Governor Ron DeSantis had thus counter-attacked, in April, by withdrawing from the American giant its privileges of quasi-extraterritoriality in the district south of Orlando. “I’m not going to let a California-based woke company run our state”, he had summarized at the beginning of the year. Despite the horrors of the “Don’t Say Gay” affair, the governor won the midterm elections in his state hands down in November. And would now target the White House.