On Thursday, Bob Iger joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” for a rare sit-down interview.
ORLANDO, Florida. The year-long feud between Disney CEO Bob Iger and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis appears set to continue after Iger called the presidential candidate’s recent rhetoric “absurd and inaccurate.”
On Thursday, Iger joined CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in a rare sit-in interview in which he dismissed DeSantis’ claims that the company is sexualizing children, denied claims of low theme park attendance and denounced the Nazis.
“The last thing I want for the company is for the company to get embroiled in any culture wars,” Iger said. “I’m worried that someone will encourage bigotry or even hatred, which, quite frankly, can even become dangerous acts,” Iger said, referring to a Nazi demonstration near Disney last month.
“Frankly, the notion that Disney somehow sexualizes children is ridiculous and wrong,” Iger said.
Iger said several factors play a role in why attendance may seem low.
“If you look at the numbers in Florida in 2023, very recently compared to 2022 when not much was open and Florida was the only game in town. Today the competition is much higher. So, compared to 2022, the state of Florida has fallen,” he explained.
On Friday, Disney asked a Florida judge to dismiss a lawsuit against the company’s efforts to neutralize Gov. Ron DeSantis and his appointees’ takeover of the Disney World district.
The one-hour hearing in Orlando state court concerns one of two takeover cases between Disney and DeSantis or his designated governors in response to the company’s public opposition to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” law. defended by DeSantis and Republican lawmakers.
Disney argues before District Judge Margaret Schreiber that any decision in state court will be moot because the Republican-controlled legislature has already passed legislation nullifying the agreements. If the judge decides not to dismiss the state’s case, the entertainment giant is asking for a stay in state court until the federal lawsuit in Tallahassee is resolved because they relate to the same ground, and that lawsuit was filed first.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.