Former Disney Exec Registers To Work For The Saudis

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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CORRECTION: A previous version of this article mischaracterized Geoff Morrell as leading Disney’s response condemning the Parental Rights In Education Bill, when Morrell advised Disney against taking a public stance. The article has since been updated.

Geoff Morrell, who was  previously Disney’s chief corporate affairs officer, registered as a foreign agent to work for the Public Investment Fund, the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, according to legal documents.

Morrell earned more than $10 million in three months while running Disney’s public relations and government affairs in 2022, according to Fortune, as the company feuded with Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over the state’s Parental Rights in Education bill, which bars classroom instruction on gender identity and sexuality prior to the fourth grade. Morrell will now work on public relations and support government affairs engagement for Saudi Arabia according to his foreign agent registration form. (RELATED: Blue State School District Won’t Let Students Opt Out Of ‘Pride’ Lessons)

Morrell advised Disney against taking a public stance on the legislation, arguing that it would force the company to take stands on other contentious issues in the future, according to CNBC. He also warned that Republican presidential candidates could retaliate against Disney over the move.

Morrell signed paperwork registering as a foreign agent under the Foreign Agent Registration Act of 1938 on Tuesday, and will work on behalf of the Saudi fund’s newly announced partnership with the PGA Tour.

“The short form registrant will provide the foreign principal with communications and stakeholder engagement consulting services with respect to the foreign principal’s golf-related commercial businesses and investments including its partnership with the PGA Tour,” the form read. “The short form registrant and colleagues will support the development of a strategy and engagement plan, support the development of key messaging and other content, advise on media and social media strategy and engagement, provide media training, and support government affairs engagement in specific market.”

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