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Disney CEO bashes California state government for keeping the park closed: 'The state is decimating small businesses'


Not the first time that the company has sharply criticized the Californian government's response to the COVID pandemic

Photo by CBS via Getty Images

As you might expect in a year in which the state of California has imposed severe restrictions on all in-person activities other than mass liberal protest gatherings, Disneyland has had a brutal financial year. In the company's regular earnings call with shareholders, Disney CEO Bob Chapek sharply criticized California's government for refusing to allow the park to reopen, according to reporters who were present on the call.

Chapek reportedly specifically went on to complain that the park's reopening plans that they submitted to the state were "science based" and supported by the unions of their employees.

This is not the first time that the company has sharply criticized the Californian government's response to the COVID pandemic. In September, when Disney announced that it was forced to lay off 28,000 workers, Disney Parks Chair Josh D'Amaro singled out the government for a significant portion of the blame, saying, "To our California government officials, particularly at the state level, I encourage you to treat theme parks like you would other sectors. Help us reopen. We need guidelines that are fair and equitable to better understand our future and chart a path towards reopening. The longer we wait, the more devastating the impact will be to the Orange County and Anaheim communities... we're ready, and more importantly, it's time."

In a statement released on Twitter, the company was even more pointed:

Likewise, Disney Chairman (and long-rumored potential Democratic presidential candidate) Bob Iger publicly stepped down from California Governor Gavin Newsom's economic recovery taskforce in October, leading some to speculate that the irate Iger could one day challenge Newsom at the ballot box, perhaps even in a 2024 presidential primary.

Overall, however, Californians seem to approve of the draconian measures imposed by California's government, even though they have not prevented California from experiencing one of the highest infection rates in the country. As of September, Newsom enjoyed a 64 percent approval rating in California, according to at least one poll.

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