Disney is in the throes of mass company-wide layoffs to save $5.5 billion in staffing costs and dividend payments. The pink slips are being delivered to 15% of employees across the board in the entertainment division, including television, film, corporate team leaders, and more. And now the company is suing Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. It seems the House of Mouse made a critical error in angering the highest elected official in the Sunshine State – but can the lawsuit and layoffs calm the chaos?
CEO Bob Iger delivered the message last month, using calm and reassuring words to cushion the blow. In a memo to employees, he wrote: “The difficult reality of many colleagues and friends leaving Disney is not something we take lightly. In tough moments, we must always do what is required to ensure Disney can continue delivering exceptional entertainment to audiences and guests worldwide – now and long into the future.”
ESPN, the sports-oriented network, is among the casualties of the Disney dilemma. ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro told his behind-the-scenes people to expect someone from human resources to reach out soon. On-air personalities will see the same treatment come summer.
Disney Takes a Hard Left
Controversy had been percolating for some time at the happiest place on earth, and it reached a roiling boil when the Florida state legislature passed the Parental Rights in Education Act. The legislation states: “Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur.” The Sunshine State’s LGBTQ community took offense and launched a counter-campaign, calling it the Don’t Say Gay Bill.
For some unknown and illogical reasons, then Disney CEO Bob Chapek caved to a woke mob, and Disney released this statement:
“Florida’s HB 1557, also known as the ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill, should never have passed and should never have been signed into law. Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that.”
That announcement accomplished two things: It inspired DeSantis to remove a cushy law that gave Disney self-governance and tax exemption – the very offense for which the company is now suing him – and Chapek was soon relieved of his job. The Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID) has been in place since 1967, and as Liberty Nation explained:
“The RCID was so that Disney could manage its property and fast-track construction permits, among other perks. Its board, up until now, has been appointed solely by Disney, with members having the same authorities as a county-level government. RCID is much like its own state, with the ability to levy taxes, manage police and emergency services, roadways, and other government-type duties. It was created to be exempt from state regulations, including certain building codes.”
DeSantis decided to teach Chapek a harsh lesson in politics: Don’t pick a fight you can’t afford to lose. And the governor opined as much. “This is obviously now going to be controlled by the state of Florida, which is no longer self-governing for them [Disney],” he said. “So, there’s a new sheriff in town, and that’s just the way it’s going to be.”
DeSantis Built the Better Mouse Trap
Bob Chapek will forever be known as ground zero for the demise of the iconic and once family-oriented theme park and media entities unless the once and future CEO, Iger, can work some Disney magic to repair Chapek’s fatally flawed decisions, starting with the most egregious political malfeasance: making DeSantis an enemy. Stop sending traditional families scurrying toward the Six Flags amusement parks scattered across the country. Those same parents and grandparents cringed as the Disney brand turned old favorite animated movies into woke lectures on alternative lifestyles of the transexual and LGBTQ crowd.
Start there, Mr. Iger, and re-right the radical left-listing Magic Kingdom.
All opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Liberty Nation.
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