Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger is promising to lower the temperature after the company stepped deep into the culture wars under his predecessor and angered many conservatives, according to an analyst's note from this week.
Needham & Company analyst Laura Martin wrote in a report released Wednesday that Iger told investors the day before that his primary goal is to "quiet the noise," because culture wars are bad for business.
That message was one of Needham's key takeaways from Disney's 120-person investor event at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday, when the company announced plans to nearly double its investments in amusement parks and cruises to $60 billion over the next decade.
Iger's vow comes after Disney has been embroiled in a number of controversies in recent years. He returned as CEO in November 2022, after previously leading the entertainment giant from 2005 to 2020.
Disney sparked a public feud with Republicans last year under former CEO Bob Chapek when the company took a stand against a Florida bill that prohibits teachers from providing instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third-grade classrooms.
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"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," the company said in a statement in March 2022. "Our goal as a company is for this law to be repealed by the legislature or struck down in the courts, and we remain committed to supporting the national and state organizations working to achieve that. We are dedicated to standing up for the rights and safety of LGBTQ+ members of the Disney family, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in Florida and across the country."
The move launched a battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state's GOP-led legislature, which later stripped Disney of its long-held self-governing authority in the state. The feud is still ongoing following Chapek's ouster late last year.
In April, Disney sued DeSantis and other Florida officials over losing that status, and both sides have been fighting each other in court ever since.
Disney did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment on Iger's remarks to investors.
FOX Business' Timothy Nerozzi contributed to this report.