Walt Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger called for citizen resistance in the wake of the Las Vegas massacre, calling the tragedy “a huge crisis” for the country.
“In this day and age we get outraged when an athlete doesn’t stand for the national anthem, where is the outrage here?” said Iger, speaking at a conference Tuesday organized by Vanity Fair. “We should be demanding a dialogue from our politicians.”
“I don’t think this is politics,” added Iger. “I think this is a huge crisis for our country.”
Iger’s remarks came just one day after he confirmed that a Disney employee was among the 59 people killed, and a second Disney worker was one among the more than 500 injured in Sunday’s massacre at the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas.
“Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by the tragic events in Las Vegas – the victims of violence, the witnesses, and the friends and families mourning loved ones,” Iger wrote in a statement released Monday.
“We are especially heartbroken over the loss of one of our own to this unconscionable and senseless act. Carrie Barnette had been a member of the Disney California Adventure culinary team for ten years and was beloved by her friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with her family, along with our support, during this incredibly difficult time. Another valued Disney cast member, Jessica Milam, was also seriously injured and we are praying for her recovery.”
During his talk Tuesday, Iger also said that he supported athletes who protest during the national anthem, even if he knows that many fans do not. “A little empathy goes a long way,” he said.
Iger also defended ESPN’s Jemele Hill, who sparked criticism and even calls from the White House that she should be fired, after she called President Trump a “white supremacist. About that, Iger said “We certainly have not asked ESPN to be politically leaning. Jemele Hill is an ESPN employee and she can’t separate herself for what she speaks publicly or when she uses Twitter.”
However, he continued, “I felt we had to take context into account… there were a lot of people out there that were outraged” over statements and actions taken by Trump.