Returning Disney CEO Bob Iger stated Tuesday that he wanted to “quiet things down” on the culture war front in his first town hall meeting with employees, according to video footage posted by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo.
“Do I like the company being embroiled in controversy? Of course not. It can be distracting, and it can have a negative impact on the company. And to the extent that I can work to quiet things down, I’m going to do that,” Iger said, according to a video clip of Tuesday’s meeting posted by Rufo.
EXCLUSIVE: I have obtained video from returning Disney CEO Bob Iger’s first town hall with employees, in which he signals that he will work to “quiet things down” politically and move toward neutrality in the culture war.https://t.co/ZBGdHhxFVS pic.twitter.com/ZbMCZN4MlG
— Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) November 29, 2022
Earlier in 2022, Disney lost the special tax districts granted to the corporation by the state of Florida under the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement Act. The loss came after the company challenged Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education bill by aiming to get the bill repealed in court. In March, leaked video footage showed Disney executive producer Latoya Raveneau saying her team had implemented a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” that would be “adding queerness” to children’s programming.
While Disney didn’t make a public statement over the leaked draft opinion regarding the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the company reportedly sent an internal memo to its employees, assuring them of Disney’s commitment to assist with “family planning and reproductive care, no matter where they live.”
An Echelon Insights poll in May showed nearly 60% of investors thought it was a “bad thing” for companies to advance a political or social agenda through its financial influence. Forty-six percent of American investors felt companies should not publicly express political positions on current national topics.
While Iger shared his wish to avoid the distractions of so-called controversy for the Disney corporation, he said he has no plans to stop Disney’s already stated position in advocating for LGBTQ rights and including that in programming. (RELATED: First Disney Movie With LGBT Protagonist Flops, Critics Blame Poor ‘Marketing’)
“One of the core values of our storytelling is inclusion, and acceptance, and tolerance. And we can’t lose that, we just can’t lose that … How we actually change the world for the good must continue … We’re not going to make everybody happy all the time, and we’re not [going to] try to. We’re certainly not going to lessen our core values in order to make everybody happy all the time,” Iger said during the meeting, according to the footage posted by Rufo.