The Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger on Wednesday told a powerful group of Hollywood players who were gathered at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s annual National Tribute Dinner, where Iger received the 2019 Humanitarian Award, that “Hate and anger are dragging us toward the abyss once again, and apathy is growing … consuming our public discourse and shaping our country into something that is wholly unrecognizable.”
“Our politics, in particular, are now dominated by contempt,” Iger added, and suggested that “Hitler would have loved social media,” because it is “constantly validating our convictions and amplifying our deepest fears” and “makes it far too easy to deny our shared humanity.”
Iger reminded his audience that “it is possible to argue policy without attacking people” and that “we have to change how we talk to each other.”
“Maybe we should just start by reconnecting with those friends and family members that we haven’t spoken to since the 2016 election,” he mused.
Born in 1951 to a Jewish family in New York City, Robert Allen Iger was raised on Long Island, in Oceanside. Iger married his second wife, journalist Willow Bay, in a Jewish and Roman Catholic interfaith service in Bridgehampton, New York.
In 2012, Steven Spielberg, founder of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education, presented Iger with the Ambassador for Humanity Award.
Iger called on US politicians to “reject hate in all forms” in the 2020 presidential election, noting that “Social media allows evil to prey on troubled minds and lost souls and we all know that social news feeds can contain more fiction than fact, propagating vile ideology that has no place in a civil society that values human life.”