Bob Iger may be back at the helm after former CEO Bob Chapek’s sudden ousting, but anyone who though his return would shift the company away from divisive politics have found themselves sadly mistaken – new Disney is the same as the old Disney.
The ideologues at Disney believe in reshaping the world those their content and now Iger is saying the quiet out loud.
Speaking at the Sandy Hook Promise Benefit event on December 6th, Iger opined to attendees that taking steps to prevent gun violence, specifically mass shootings, “should be among our highest priorities” for Americans.
“As a grandfather, as a father, as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, I believe there is no greater or more important task than ensuring the safety and well-being of our children,” he told the crowd, which included fellow speakers and prominent Democrats former President Barack Obama and Matthew McConaughey.
“Those of us who are in positions to affect change, whether it’s by influencing laws of shaping culture or supporting organizations on the frontlines, I think we have an extra responsibility,” Iger concluded.
Taking the stage after Iger, Obama backed up the recently reinstated Disney CEO’s sentiments by slamming those Republicans and Democrats who failed to infringe on the Second Amendment under his administration.
Describing the day as the “single darkest day” of his entire presidency before reading out the names of every Sandy Hook victim, the former President asserted, “Perhaps the most bitter disappointment of my time in office, the closest I came to being cynical, was the utter failure of Congress to respond in the immediate aftermath of the Sandy Hook shootings.”
“To see almost the entire GOP, but also a decent number of Democrats equivocate and hem and haw and filibuster and ultimately bend yet again to pressure from the gun lobby,” he further decried.
“We are unique among nations in tolerating the proliferation of guns on our streets and allowing civilians to routinely purchase high-powered weapons of war,” Obama then asserted. “Nobody else does this.”
“Those who profit from this Congress know how to feed our fear and exploit our divisions and distract us to specious arguments that carnage and mayhem are somehow the price of our freedom,” he continued. “And even though most of us know better, even though not just the majority of Americans, but the majority of responsible gun owners understand that something fundamental needs to change, collectively we still refuse to act on what the data and common sense tell us.”
“I will admit, I still get angry every time I read about the latest senseless shooting, whether it is in a church or a synagogue, in a grocery store or on a college campus or in a home or on a city street,” the Netflix producer eventually concluded. “The good news is that, as of late, I sense that slowly, steadily, the tide may be turning.”
Iger’s desire to shape contemporary culture was first confirmed earlier this month when, during an employee Q&A held to clear the air surrounding his return, the CEO – with “no hesitation” according to one attendee – told the crowd that the company’s focus on diversity, inclusion, and LGBTQ content are here to stay.
“One of the core values of our storytelling is inclusion, and acceptance and tolerance,” Iger told Disney staff. “And we can’t lose that, we just can’t lose that… how we actually change the world through the good must continue. We’re not going to make everyone happy all the time, and we’re not going to try to. We’re certainly not going to lessen our core values in order to make everyone happy all the time.”
Notably, this attempt by Iger to establish Disney as a major player in American politics is but the second undertaken by company leadership this year, albeit the first under his tenure.
2022 saw Disney go to war against Florida Governor Ron Desantis over the his since-signed-into-law Parental Rights in Education bill, which bans public schools from teaching of sexuality and transgenderism to children until after they pass the third grade.
Introduced by the Governor in an effort to prevent activist teachers from grooming children into non–traditional lifestyles, Iger sided with Democrat President Joe Biden in condemning the legislation as hateful and even blasted Chapek’s initial refusal to take a public stance on the matter as an outright mistake
In the months that followed, Disney took a hard left stance by admitting to having a not-so-secret agenda to push gay and queer content in programs targeted to children.
In March, President of Disney General Entertainment Content Karey Burke spoke out about how important it was for her, as the mother of transgender and pansexual children, to have “many, many, many LGBTQIA characters in our stories”.
“That is up to all of us,” she added. “We had an open forum last week at 20th where, again, the home of really incredible groundbreaking LGBTQIA stories over the years, where one of our execs stood up and said, ‘You know, we only had a handful of queer leads in our content.’ And I went, ‘What? That can’t be true!’ And I realized, ‘Oh. It actually is true.’”