Bob Iger Discovers the Concept of Right and Wrong
Plus: the greatest military recruitment ad in history, assigned!
I have to say, I find it a little rich to hear former Disney CEO Bob Iger couch his opposition to the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida in terms of “right and wrong.” Here’s what Iger told CNN Plus’s Chris Wallace when asked about the company’s response to the legislation, as recounted by Deadline:
“A lot of these issues are not necessarily political,” Iger said in the interview, which will stream this week. “It’s about right and wrong. So I happened to feel, and I tweeted an opinion about the ‘don’t say gay’ bill in Florida. To me, it wasn’t about politics. It is about what is right and what is wrong, and that just seemed wrong. It seemed potentially harmful to kids.” …
“We never really saw much evidence of that, even though there were threats about boycotts on certain things,” Iger replied. “Again, when you are dealing with right and wrong, and when you are dealing with something that does have a profound impact on your business, I just think you have to do what is right and not worry about the potential backlash to it.”
There are plenty of good-faith criticisms to be made about the law in question; my longtime friend and current boss Sarah Longwell makes a number of them here in discussing how the overly broad way it’s written could mean that her family would have to be invisible from her child’s classroom.
Bob Iger is in no position to offer such good-faith criticisms. Bob Iger has happily done the wrong thing time and again when profit was on the line when it comes to Disney’s activities in China. Under Bob Iger’s watch, Disney erased Tibetans from their films, watched happily as Chinese officials relocated entire villages from the site of their Shanghai park, and in the credits of Mulan literally thanked the security apparatus operating literal Uighur prison camps as part of China’s literal campaign of literal ethnic cleansing.
But hey, right and wrong, right? Bob Iger, paragon of virtue, is certainly most concerned with that, is he not? Let’s see what he told Kara Swisher about these China issues in what amounted to an exit interview from his tenure at Disney:
Disney is a global company and does business in just about every market in the world, save for a couple, North Korea being one. And when you do business around the world— this is not a cop-out, but you have to conform to a variety of different things about the market you’re doing business in. … And you try in the process not to compromise what I’ll call values. But there are compromises that companies have to make to be global. And again, I’m not condoning— and then, there are times when you draw the line and say, just, we’re not going to do it. Now, not entering a market— if it’s a huge market and you want to be a global company and you’re looking for growth, it’s very hard.
Oh, it’s very hard, is it? To stop sucking up to the people committing crimes against humanity because they might not show Eternals in theaters? (How’d that work out for you?)
There are many subjects Bob Iger is qualified to opine upon. Understanding right and wrong in the face of potential business difficulties is not one of them.
Make sure to head over to ATMA to check out the members-only bonus episode about The Godfather, celebrating a half-century of existence this year. The jumping-off point was Sean Combs’s weird introduction of the film at the Oscars, but there’s lots to chat about. I mean, it is one of the best movies ever made, after all. And if you can’t listen because you’re not a member, well, there’s no time like the present to sign up!
Morbius is bad (review here), but it’s bad in ways that are somewhat interesting if you came of age during the comic book boom of the 1990s.
The news that Bruce Willis is retiring due to Aphasia and related memory issues made me sad; I wrote about why his work is so great here.
It’s worth reading this Los Angeles Times story about Willis’s condition. The story is so well-reported and so deeply sourced that I am 90 percent sure Demi Moore’s announcement of Willis’s retirement was an effort to get ahead of it; it’s not something you put together in 10 hours. I’m also about 60 percent sure that this began as a piece about gun safety on movie sets but evolved into something else as reporting revealed that Willis was impaired.
If you’re a Nic Cage fan, you’ll want to check out this week’s episode of The Bulwark Goes to Hollywood, in which I discuss the new book Age of Cage with author Keith Phipps.
Make sure to check out Zandy Hartig’s essay on the rather unerotic erotic masterpiece Belle de Jour.
As Tim Miller notes, American cultural imperialism is proof that America is still great!
RIP Paul Herman, veteran of The Sopranos and Goodfellas.
Assigned Viewing: Top Gun (Netflix)
The sequel is finally hitting big screens in a few weeks, so now’s as good a time as any to rewatch the original. Screenwriter Zack Stentz posted a funny Twitter thread in which he relates how, when he was working on a potential sequel a decade ago, he talked to a bunch of pilots who all quibbled with various inaccuracies before admitting that it was the movie that made them want to be fighter jocks. One of the greatest military recruitment ads in the history of the nation!
A corporate top dog doing the wrong thing for more profit than what doing the right thing would produce? Oh, Sonny! Say it ain't so!
Seriously: a seriously good and well-reasoned / written piece. Props.
I would draw a parallel between Disney, DeSantis, and queer folk; and the US, Russia, and Ukraine. In both situations we have an aggressor and a victim. We also have an ally to the victim with its own dirty moral laundry but that happens to be uniquely well positioned to help. Are you saying the victim should be deprived of the help because the potential helper isn't good enough?