Bob Iger makes TIME’s Most Influential People list, addresses Gov. DeSantis fight

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'If the Governor of Florida wants to meet with me to discuss all of this, of course, I would be glad to do that.'

Disney CEO Bob Iger is one of TIME Magazine’s Most Influential People of 2023. And in an interview, Iger said he isn’t against meeting with Gov. Ron DeSantis as the executive discussed the company’s fight with Florida.

TIME Magazine asked: “Did you checkmate Ron DeSantis?”

Iger struck a tone similar to his earlier response during this month’s Disney annual shareholders meeting.

“Disney World opened just over 50 years ago. It was the vision and the dream of Walt Disney, probably the most ambitious thing he ever did — turning swampland in Central Florida into a business that employs over 75,000 people, that is visited by tens of millions of people every year, that is a major tourist destination in the United States, and for the state of Florida,” Iger said.

“Our sole goal in Florida is to continue creating that value for all those constituencies. All we want is a relationship with the state that enables us to continue to do that. We have the wherewithal, and we have the desire to continue to invest there to grow that business so that we can hire more people so that we can increase our attendance, and so that we can basically increase more value for the Walt Disney Company and for the state of Florida. It’s that simple.”

Republican lawmakers approved legislation this year that gave DeSantis the power to appoint new members to Disney World’s governing board. Previously, Disney could select its board of supervisors to oversee the utilities, road construction and emergency services on Disney’s massive Central Florida property.

The legislation came as retribution for then-Disney CEO Bob Chapek speaking out against the controversial “Parental Rights in Education” measure, which critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” law.

But the DeSantis-run board disclosed last month that the old Disney government board had approved last-minute agreements with Disney that limit the new board’s control on future land developments. That sparked the ire of DeSantis, who suggested he might raise hotel taxes at Disney, add toll roads and take other action to try and overturn the previous agreements.

Iger was also asked if he was willing to meet with DeSantis.

“If the Governor of Florida wants to meet with me to discuss all of this, of course, I would be glad to do that,” Iger said. “You know, I’m one that typically has respected our elected officials and the responsibility that they have, and there would be no reason why I wouldn’t do that.”

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .


7 comments

  • Rob Desantos

    April 13, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Iger > Desantis, in every possible way

  • Earl Pitts American

    April 13, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Good afternoon America,
    Any Time Magazine list = definatly NOT an honor. Iger is an old perverted homertesticle swish who is turning America’s precious childern into young homertesticle swishes. Is that what YOU want for YOUR kids???
    Thank you for all you do America’s Govorner Desantis.
    Thank you America,
    Earl Pitts American

    • Rob Desantos

      April 13, 2023 at 4:04 pm

      Everyone already knows you’re obsessed with children’s genitals, Earl, but thanks for the reminder.

      Oh, and Tiny D was on the Time list last year.

    • Corruption in Florida

      April 13, 2023 at 9:23 pm

      Earl. You’re acting out again. Are you off your medication again?

      DeSantis is a criminal. And he is taking away all the freedoms in Florida and wants to do the same for the country.

      Now, make sure you take your meds and quit drinking. You always show your a** when you do

  • PeterH

    April 13, 2023 at 3:21 pm

    Well said Mr. Iger!

    Disney is a Florida treasure and your venture will certainly outlive DeSantis and his deplorables in the State legislature.

    Keep your eyes on the Disney vision!

  • tom palmer

    April 13, 2023 at 3:42 pm

    I applaud Mr. Iger for sticking to the high road with his comments. Leave the mud wrestling to the folks in Tallahassee.
    .

  • Corruption in Florida

    April 13, 2023 at 9:21 pm

    if IGER ran for president, he would win, hands-down against DeSantis or Trump.

    He would bring decency back to the GOP and no matter if he won or Biden won we would trust of the country was in good hands

    DeSantis is corrupt. And he’s very dangerous. He is anti-Business and anti-Florida. He is pro Ron DeSantis

    And I think he’s mad at Disney, because Disney wouldn’t cast him in the role as a Disney princess . And it’s also why he beats up on drag queens because his inner self wants to be one.

Comments are closed.


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