By Adam Eckert
“The notion that Disney is in any way sexualizing children is preposterous and inaccurate,” Iger said Thursday in an interview aired on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
Right-wing critics have claimed Disney has promoted secret sexual content in its programming. Those claims have been echoed by DeSantis as part of his political campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
DeSantis has repeatedly argued that Disney is advocating for the sexualization of children because of the company’s opposition to the classroom bill.
The controversial Florida state bill, which has been dubbed “Don’t Say Gay” by critics, limits classroom instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
After Disney expressed its opposition to the bill, Florida officials targeted a special tax district that has allowed Disney to essentially self-govern its operations for years, per CNBC. Disney then filed suit against DeSantis for his “targeted campaign of government retaliation.”
“We are concerned that he has decided to retaliate against the company for a position the company took on pending legislation in that state,” Iger said in the interview on Thursday.
Disney has since ramped up its investment in California as it continues to fight back against the Florida governor.
When Iger was asked about the ongoing dispute with DeSantis, he noted that he doesn’t want to see Disney “drawn into any culture wars.”
“We’ve operated for, you know, almost 100 years as a company, making product that we actually are proud of in terms of its impact on the world,” Iger said.
He also told CNBC that it was “horrifying” to see neo-Nazis gathered outside of Disney World for a demonstration following former President Donald Trump’s federal indictment.
On Wednesday, Disney announced that Iger will continue to serve as the company’s CEO through 2026 to help lead its ongoing transformation.
“While a lot of work has been accomplished in the seven or so months since I’ve been back, the board believed, and I agree with them, that there was a lot more work to do,” Iger said.
Disney shares are down more than 10% over the last three months and well off the highs from 2021.
The stock was up 0.33% at $90.45 at the time of publication Thursday, according to Zenger News Pro.
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Edited by Suparba Sil