Disney CEO Bob Iger escalates war of words with Ron DeSantis. Who's winning the Florida feud?

The Disney vs. DeSantis feud is heating up.

Disney CEO Bob Iger escalated the war of words with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week by hinting Disney World might drop plans to invest $17 billion and create 13,000 new jobs over the next decade.

“Does the state want us to invest more, employ more people and pay more taxes or not?” Iger said Wednesday during a call with investors.

Iger’s comments echoed statements he made last month during a Disney shareholders meeting in which he accused Florida of being “anti-business.”

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Disney sued DeSantis and other government officials last month, accusing them of retaliating against the company for engaging in exercising its constitutional rights last year when it criticized a Florida law that bars classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Disney lawsuit, DeSantis countersuit escalates Disney fight

DeSantis, who is expected to challenge former President and presidential frontrunner Donald Trump for the GOP nomination in 2024, countersued.

"I think the case that we filed last month made our position and the facts very clear and that is really that this is about one thing and one thing only, and that is retaliating against us for taking a position about pending legislation," Iger said this week.

Disney CEO Bob Iger

During a press conference on a recent trip to Israel, he said the Disney lawsuit had no merit and was politically motivated, adding that Disney was just upset that it has to "live by the same rules as everybody else."

Florida feud prompted by Disney criticism of 'Don't Say Gay' law

Under previous Disney CEO Bob Chapek, Disney spoke out against a Florida law critics dubbed “Don’t Say Gay.” 

DeSantis responded by signing legislation that stripped Disney of the right to govern the land that includes Disney World. 

Iger takes on DeSantisDisney CEO Bob Iger questions if Gov. Ron DeSantis wants the company in Florida 'or not?'

The legislation also overhauled the governing board overseeing Disney World’s 27,000-acre property outside Orlando to give the Florida governor the right to pick the five supervisors who oversee it.

Disney then passed restrictive covenants that deprived the new board of its power for decades, angering DeSantis who suggested Florida might build a state prison next to Disney World.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

"Disney’s sloppy and futile attempt to subvert the will of the Legislature and Floridians was uncovered by our state oversight board and their 11th hour agreements will be nullified by the Legislature," DeSantis tweeted last month. "Disney’s corporate kingdom is over."

Is DeSantis war on 'woke' business misfiring?

DeSantis has made his war on “woke” business a central political plank. 

Some GOP leaders warn that DeSantis’ feud with Disney is not resonating with the American public.

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Trump called the feud "a political stunt." “Disney’s next move will be the announcement that no more money will be invested in Florida because of the Governor - In fact, they could even announce a slow withdrawal or sale of certain properties, or the whole thing. Watch!” Trump said on Truth Social last month. 

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has expressed concern that the feud could scare off businesses interested in doing business in the Sunshine State. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has suggested DeSantis negotiate with Disney.

“Why wouldn’t you sit down and negotiate and talk? If there’s differences, you can always find ways that you can solve this problem," McCarthy said last month on CNBC.

A Yahoo News/YouGov poll found that most Americans are more concerned with inflation, the debt ceiling, border security, racism and abortion restrictions than “wokeness.”

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