Disney CEO Bob Iger has escalated his feud with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis once again, this time threatening to pull thousands of new jobs and billions in investments currently planned by the company in the state of Florida. The statement marks the first time Iger has alluded to using the corporation’s massive economic power to fight against DeSantis’ recent hostilities towards Disney.
The remarks came during a call with investors on Wednesday, as Iger addressed recent sanctions taken against Disney by the state due to the company’s political leanings. “Does the state want us to invest more,” Iger said, “employ more people and pay more taxes…or not?”
Right now, Disney plans around $17 billion in investments and 13,000 new jobs to be poured into Florida by 2033, a massive planned expansion of their already sprawling theme park empire. But even though Iger refrained from naming DeSantis on the call, he made it known that reconsidering those plans was on the table if the state’s recent actions against Disney continued.
The two entities are currently suing each other, with Disney alleging that DeSantis and the state legislature violated their First Amendment rights by taking action against them in response to a statement condemning the Parental Rights in Education bill last year. Several legislators admitted in public that this was the motivation behind their desire to restructure Disney’s self-governing status, installing DeSantis-appointees in place of Disney’s oversight board. Proponents for the change have argued that it was long overdue.
Iger has now stepped out to bash DeSantis twice during the feud, the first time coming in April when he called the Governor ‘anti-business’ and ‘anti-Florida’.