Disney CEO Bob Iger Faces Backlash from Conservatives and Liberals Alike

Bob Iger / AP

Disney is taking a lot of heat these days from conservatives and liberals for the iconic company’s decisions and actions.

Conservatives are upset with the company’s choice to include a gay character and gay scene in “Beauty and the Beast,” and a gay kiss in a children’s cartoon TV show.

Liberals are upset that its CEO, Bob Iger, is on President Donald Trump’s business advisory council.

At The Walt Disney Company’s annual shareholders meeting in Denver, shareholder representatives opposing the Trump administration called on Iger to step down from the President’s Strategic and Policy Forum, saying his involvement shows he and Disney support Trump’s policies.

“By its association, Disney is complicit in Trump’s Muslim ban and his anti-immigrant, anti-refugee agenda,” said Mehrdad Azemun, campaigns director for People’s Action, according to ValueWalk.com. “Disney can’t pick and choose which of Trump’s policies they support and which they don’t. The only solution is for Bob Iger to leave Trump’s business council.”

“We are against Trump’s messages and Iger needs to step down,” said Lupita Carrasquillo, an economic-justice organizer for the Colorado People’s Alliance, according to The Denver Post.

“We all love Disney movies and the messages that they teach, but we should not be teaching children a message of hate,” she continued.

A coalition of organizations collected more than a half million signatures to deliver to The Walt Disney Company, calling for Iger not to participate on the council.

Iger, who is a Democrat and supported Hillary Clinton, called his involvement a “privileged opportunity” and refused to step down.

“I made a decision that I thought it was in the best interest of our company and of our industry to have an opportunity to express specific point of views directly to the president of the United States and to his administration,” Iger said at the meeting, according to the Los Angeles Times.

One shareholder spoke in favor of Iger’s decision.

“I want to thank you for being our voice in the room with the president,” shareholder Dwight Morgan said, The Times reported.

Iger didn’t just field questions from liberal protesters.

Justin Danhof, general counsel for The National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative organization, accused Disney-owned ESPN and ABC News of being biased against the Trump administration.

Iger said that’s not true.

“I am going to disagree with just about everything you said,” Iger said, responding to Danhof, The Times reported. “The charge that ESPN is exhibiting significant political bias in its programming is just completely exaggerated.”

“I can stand here today and look you in the face and say I am proud of the efforts of ABC News,” the Disney CEO also said to Danhof, The Denver Post reported.

“There are always going to be people — yourself included, perhaps the president — who are going to believe that it is not being presented in a manner that is consistent with their own beliefs,” Iger continued. “That doesn’t necessarily mean they are going to be unfair.”

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Mark Martin