South Carolina announces state is divesting from Disney over Twitter spat

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The Cinderella Castle is seen at the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Friday, July 14, 2023, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

South Carolina announces state is divesting from Disney over Twitter spat

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South Carolina’s state funds will no longer be tied to Disney as Republicans blast the company for pulling ads from X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

South Carolina state Treasurer Curtis Loftis announced on Tuesday that Walt Disney Company is being removed from the Palmetto State’s approved investment list. In a letter, he argued that Disney has abandoned its fiduciary duty to investors by “boycotting” X.

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Loftis’s office portfolio has about $105 million of Disney debt instruments that will mature as scheduled and will not be replaced, according to the treasurer. Loftis said he will focus on the equity portfolio in the coming weeks.

“Disney has abandoned its fiduciary responsibilities to its investors and customers by joining far-left activist in boycotting legal, taxpaying, employment-creating corporations to further Disney’s political agenda,” he said in a Tuesday statement.

Loftis also bashed the company over CEO Bob Iger’s pulling of advertising on X. The platform’s owner, Elon Musk, has been embroiled in a firestorm over X and raised eyebrows when he rebuked those pulling ads from it.

“Don’t advertise,” Musk said while speaking at the 2023 DealBook Summit. “If somebody’s gonna try to blackmail me with advertising? Blackmail me with money? Go f*** yourself. Go. F***. Yourself. Is that clear? Hope it is.”

Musk seemed to target Iger specifically during the event, at one point saying, “Hi, Bob!”

“Multibillion-dollar corporations should not engage in boycotts designed to silence legitimate debate,” Loftis said. “Since America’s founding, freedom of speech has been one of its core principals, and Disney should not engage in nefarious practices aimed at silencing those with less power and money.”

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The divestment could spur similar moves from other GOP-led states. A series of states has divested from money manager BlackRock for similar reasons, accusing the firm and its CEO, Larry Fink, of prioritizing politically charged environmental and social issues over fiduciary duty and shareholder value.

The Washington Examiner has reached out to Disney for comment.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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