Walt Disney Co. Executive Chairman Bob Iger has resigned from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s COVID-19 economic task force, an abrupt public confirmation of the growing tensions stemming from California’s reluctance to allow theme parks to reopen.
Iger’s departure from the governor’s high-profile task force, a group organized in April to inject an element of business acumen and gravitas into the state’s pandemic recovery efforts, happened earlier this week, a Disney spokesperson told The Times after the resignation was reported by the Sacramento Bee.
Last week, Disney announced it will lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and products division, which includes Disneyland Resort and Disney California Adventure Park in Anaheim. The company’s footprint in Southern California is sizable, with a variety of local businesses that depend on theme park visitors now in dire financial straits.
Newsom’s advisers have said a new set of state public health guidelines for theme and amusement park openings would be released by the end of the week. But the leader of the trade group representing those businesses said Thursday that a draft of the proposal shared by the state falls far short of what the industry needs.
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