The feud between Disney and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had been going on for a while.
The political battle between the governor and the company has gone to new heights as the oversight board appointed by the Governor found out that Disney had made a secret deal to counter the efforts made by the governor to strip the company of its privileges.
According to the statement made by the chairman of the company Martin Garcia, a subsidiary of the company which is responsible for the utility located in central Florida has made a few last-minute agreements, which are often described as an 11th-hour deal with an intention to manage their own utility rate until 2023.
It was found out by the board that their agreement will block the board from making any major changes to the theme parks or resorts that were under the ownership of Disney.
The announcement regarding the agreement is the latest reveal in the feud that had been going on for a while between the governor and the company. Earlier this week, Governor DeSantis introduced a new legislature that would require the company to adhere to further inspections at theme parks owned by them.
The governor appeared very strict and furious in his statements. He said that the company was not above the law and they are bound to follow the rules which are followed by all the citizens in Florida.
He ended his statement at the press conference by saying that the ways of the company are not going to work if they are not ready to abide by the rules.
The Governor decided to go another step further and take control of the land surrounding Disney’s theme park in Florida. This was another method by him to exert more control over the company.
Governor DeSantis stated that the area around the park will be used for developing other state facilities, like a state park or even a state prison. He also added that the board is considering raising the tax amount collected from the company.
Through one of the statements made by Disney about their future plans on Wednesday, the company made it clear that they were currently working on a new affordable housing development just miles away from the Magic Kingdom.
Earlier, Disney faced criticism from the board for their lack of affordable housing. The upcoming development is expected to be completed in 2026 and is said to include around 1,400 total units that will be spread over a total area of 80 acres.
The announcement regarding the 11th-hour deal comes in the middle of the escalation feud between the governor and the company which arose due to DeSantis’s attempts to put an end to LGBTQ education.
Being the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis made a move to expand the scope of the Parental Rights in Education Act in Florida.
The attempted change received very wide criticism from many people around as it had a major impact on minorities. The change in the rule will bring about a very drastic change in society and the upcoming generations’ view on gender identity as the law would ban lessons on topics like sexual orientation and gender identity in grades 4 to 12.
The CEO of Disney, Bob Iger talked about the feud that had been going on with the governor during the annual meeting of the company’s shareholders which was conducted earlier this month.
During the event, Iger stated that just like any individual, a company also had the freedom of speech. He also said that many policies put forward by the Republican governor DeSantis were anti-business and anti-Florida.
The ongoing feud with the governor comes at a hard time for the company. Reports and updates show that Disney is currently in the process of resetting their business. In an effort to ensure the cash flow in the business, the company is making different efforts to cut down around $5.5 billion in costs.
The company has accepted different methods to meet this cost cut and the total $5.5 billion cut comes with an inclusion of around $3 billion in content costs.
As part of its cost-cutting methods, Disney is currently planning to lay off thousands of employers in the company. Available statistics suggest that there will be a total cut of 7,000 jobs by the end of this Summer. The layoff will also include around 15% of staff from the entertainment division of Disney.
The layoff is also expected to include different on-air and management positions at ESPN too. Bob Iger got reassigned to the position of CEO of the company last November and ever since the company has focused more on profitability than the growth of its subscribers. The investors of the company are also interested in such growth.