DeSantis, Disney Drama Compared to Popular Television Show

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Disney Board of Directors - Ron DeSantis, Nelson Peltz, Andrew Warren, and Mickey Mouse in front of the Walt Disney Company building.

Credit: Inside The Magic

As if things could not escalate anymore between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Disney, some are comparing the latest drama fiasco to a popular television series.

Bob Iger and Ron DeSantis
Credit: Inside the Magic

The Disney vs. DeSantis Battle Compared to Popular Television Series

There’s a buzz surrounding potential changes in The Walt Disney Company’s Board, with activist investor Nelson Peltz aiming to secure a spot along with former Disney CFO Jay Rasulo.

Trian Fund Management, led by Peltz, officially nominated the duo to Disney’s Board, outlining their plans and targets in a proxy filing. Peltz and Rasulo expressed their commitment to addressing the messy CEO succession issue and aligning management pay with performance.

The filing also revealed Trian’s goal of achieving “Netflix-like margins” by 2027, with Peltz identifying Netflix as Disney’s main competitor. Peltz criticized Disney’s current board oversight, emphasizing his outsider perspective. In a CNBC interview, he shared a positive experience at Disney World, highlighting the pleasant atmosphere among employees.

Sad DeSantis and CEO Bob Iger, smiling, on the front, World Disney Castle in the background
Credit: Inside the Magic

The pair has committed to “finally complete a successful CEO succession,” acknowledging the dramatic challenges akin to an HBO drama of the same name in selecting a chief executive officer to follow Bob Iger eventually.

Succession is an HBO drama series that aired from 2018 to 2023. It revolves around the Roy family, owners of the global media and entertainment giant Waystar RoyCo. The storyline focuses on the family’s internal power struggles, personal motives, and their relentless battle for control of the company.

But who are these new players that the article discussed? Well, let’s piece this entire thing together for you.

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger in front of Cinderella Castle
Credit: Inside the Magic

No, DeSantis Won’t Be President, and It’s Thanks to Disney

Recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been attempting to reignite his presidential bid after many have declared that DeSantis’s Presidential bid is over, thanks to Disney. He’s constantly attacked the House of Mouse for several years, and many Republicans have turned their back on the Governor, backing Disney instead, including former President Donald Trump.

DeSantis has tried to mend his relationship with the media by coming forward on a podcast to attempt to explain why he hasn’t been portrayed correctly, leading to some wondering if this is the real reason why he’s losing his attempt to run for the office of the President of the United States.

Some new players have entered the chat, so to speak, in this Disney vs. DeSantis feud, including Democratic prosecutor Andrew Warren and billionaire investor Nelson Peltz.

Bob Iger and Nelson Peltz looking at each other in front of the WD Company building.
Credit: Inside The Magic

New Players Enter the DeSantis vs. Disney Feud

Billionaire magnate Nelson Peltz and ex-chief Financial Officer of Disney, Jay Rasulo, are making waves to bring about change within The Walt Disney Company. Trian Partners, led by Peltz, has officially lodged documents with the SEC in a proxy battle to secure two coveted positions on Disney’s Board of Directors.

Peltz and Rasulo, nominated by Trian Partners, aim to inject fresh energy into Disney’s leadership. Peltz, driven by the vision to “Restore the Magic” at Disney, underscores the Board’s pivotal role in setting both realistic and ambitious objectives.

Their advocacy revolves around the Board’s responsibility to instigate feasible and daring goals, prompting the executive team to devise a meticulous strategy for achieving them. Trian Partners raises concerns about what they perceive as a substantial issue within Disney – a lack of clarity in goals and inadequate execution. Peltz and Rasulo champion a renewed focus on well-defined objectives and a robust execution plan to revitalize Disney’s trajectory.

Peltz’s nomination into the Disney Board of Directors has been denied by Disney itself, leading to a strong response from the House of Mouse. as they put fourth their list of nominees.

The Walt Disney Company building
Credit: The Walt Disney Company

Disney Puts Forth List of Powerful Nominations for Its Board of Directors

The Walt Disney Company has officially disclosed its slate of 12 nominees set to undergo voting for the Board of Directors in 2024. The notable individuals on the list include:

  • Mary T. Barra (CEO of General Motors)
  • Safra A. Catz (CEO of Oracle)
  • Amy L. Chang (Walt Disney Director)
  • D. Jeremy Darroch (Former CEO of Sky plc)
  • Carolyn N. Everson (Former President of Instacart)
  • Michael B.G. Froman (Former United States Trade Representative)
  • James P. Gorman (CEO of Morgan Stanley Wealth Management)
  • Robert A. Iger (Current CEO of Disney)
  • Maria Elena Lagomasino (CEO and managing partner of WE Family Offices)
  • Calvin R. McDonald (CEO of Lululemon Athletica)
  • Mark G. Parker (Former executive chairman of Nike, Inc.)
  • Derica W. Rice (Former chief financial officer of Eli Lilly)

This diverse and accomplished lineup reflects Disney’s commitment to assembling a Board with a wealth of experience and expertise across various industries.

In terms of responding to the Nelson Peltz nominations, Disney had this to say:

The Walt Disney Company Board officially disclosed its recommended slate of 12 nominees for election at the 2024 annual meeting. Also – the board does not endorse the Trian nominations of Nelson Peltz and James Rasulo.

Ron DeSantis pointing towards Mickey Mouse and Andrew Warren inside of Disney World.
Credit: Inside The Magic

What About That Democratic Prosecutor?

The other player that has entered the Disney vs. DeSantis fiasco, is Democratic Prosecutor Andrew Warren.

Disney’s legal team perceives a recent court ruling to reinstate ousted Tampa prosecutor Andrew Warren as a potential asset in their legal clash against Governor Ron DeSantis. Following the decision from the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday, Disney’s lawyers promptly submitted a copy on Thursday, arguing that the First Amendment protections delineated in the ruling apply to their lawsuit.

Disney and Warren, the latter a Democrat, contend they faced consequences from DeSantis based on their political positions. DeSantis suspended Warren in August 2022, citing Warren’s endorsement of statements opposing the criminalization of abortion and gender-transition treatments for children. But DeSantis seeks to reopen the discussion behind Warren’s suspension.

Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort as seen from an archway.
Credit: Disney

What Does This All Mean?

With these new players entering the latest developments of this legal feud between the Florida Governor and the House of Mouse, some potential outcomes for how things will work out towards the end of the year are on the horizon.

Remember, these are speculations and in no way, shape, or form accurately predict the outcome of this entire political and legal battle. 

Scenario One: DeSantis will not be the 2024 Republican Presidential nominee and will end up going back to attempting to bring down Disney or will stop his feud and end things on a common-ground level.

Scenario Two: Nelson Peltz will not be nominated to the Disney Board of Directors and will cease any attempt at becoming so, or he will become part of the Board and bring about new financial change to Disney stock and more.

Scenario Three: Disney will succeed with its 12 nominees for its Board and will put forth new faces that will either bring positive change to the Disney name or demise, leading to shifts in the company.

Scenario Four: Andrew Warren’s First Amendment lawsuit will assist Disney and bring down DeSantis’s legal case, leading to another loss for the Florida Governor. The other part of this would be Warren losing his legal battle, thus creating a domino effect that will heavily impact Disney.

The Florida Governor with the Magic Kingdom WDW Park in the background.
Credit: Inside The Magic

Closing Thoughts

2024 will be an exciting year for Disney, DeSantis, Peltz, and Warren, leading to some losses and wins. By December, some things will look vastly different while others will remain the same – only time will tell.

What are your thoughts on this entire political feud?

Sound off in the comments below!

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