Bob Iger, Walt Disney CEO, told investors in an analyst note published on Wednesday that the business needs to “quiet the noise” in the culture war with social conservatives and the global media and entertainment conglomerate.
Shortly after CEO Bob Iger announced Disney would double its investment in theme parks and cruise ships over the next decade, a media analyst from Needham, Laura Martin, included Iger’s statement in her report to investors at Tuesday’s presentation at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida.
Social media outcry against Disney’s hiring of Halle Bailey, a Black actress, as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” has caused problems for the company in Florida and at the box office.
Lightyear, a film by Pixar Animation Studios, was banned in various countries owing to a brief kiss between two characters who are the same sex last year.
After publicly condemning a Florida law restricting conversations on sexual orientation and gender identity in the classroom, the entertainment company found itself amid the nation’s culture wars in 2022. The current governor, Ron DeSantis, ran an anti-woke Disney campaign and worked with legislators to strip Disney of its self-governance over its theme parks.
The creation of the Central Florida Oversight District board is the subject of an ongoing legal battle between the state of Florida and Disney. About 25,000 acres (100 square kilometers) of property surrounding Disney’s theme parks are under the purview of this board.
As Disney faces increasing competition from rivals like Universal Orlando Resort, it is unclear how much of the $60 billion additional investment will be directed to Florida. In the past, Iger has claimed that Disney plans to spend $17 billion at Walt Disney World over the next decade.
Statements attributed to Iger in this regard appear to echo his views made during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in April.
Iger was reacting to a shareholder who claimed Disney had shifted its focus from entertaining and educating children to advocating for the rights of the LGBTQ community and other progressive causes.
Iger stated that the company’s top priorities should be providing entertainment and making a constructive difference in the world.
Needham claims that Iger told the Orlando investor group that Marvel Entertainment would slow down the pace of its releases because of an overabundance of movies and TV shows.