Disney CEO Bob Iger defends joining Donald Trump task force

'I made a decision that I thought was in the best interests of our company and of our industry'

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The Independent Culture

When Donald Trump announced Disney CEO Bob Iger would be part of the newly formed Strategic and Policy Forum, many people were critical.

Speaking at Walt Disney's Co.'s annual shareholders meeting, Iger took the opportunity to explain why he accepted the position.

"I made a decision that I thought was in the best interests of our company and of our industry, to have an opportunity to express points of view directly to the President of the United States and to his administration," Iger said, according to The Hollywood Reporter

Following the meeting in Denver, executives issued a statement added: “I did not believe, nor do I believe that my membership in that group in any way endorses or supports any specific policy of the president or his administration. I think it's a privileged opportunity to have a voice in the room.”

One shareholder, however, took issue with the defence, saying: “By staying on the economic council, it looks as if you are tacitly endorsing Trump's policies, his anti-immigrant, his anti-LGBT and anti-woman agenda.”

"I do not currently intend to stand down from the council,” Iger responded, “Again because I think there's an opportunity for me to express views that I think represent the issues that are of value to this company and its shareholders.” 

Another shareholder then claimed ESPN and ABC News - both owned by Disney - have a liberal bias, to which Iger said: "I'm going to disagree with just about everything you said. "I can stand here today, look you in the face, and say I'm proud of the efforts of ABC News. I respect ABC News. And I believe they work very hard to present news in an extremely fair way.”

At the same meeting, Iger showcased new footage from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, debuting Luke Skywalker’s first line since Return of the Jedi.

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