He laid out the reasons for wanting to get on Trump’s good side:
“As a member of the business community, it’s a great opportunity for me to have a direct pipeline to the president and the senior members of his team.…I have a real good opportunity to be the sole representative of our industry on a number of very important issues: intellectual property protection, trade-related issues, specifically for Disney obviously any changes in the tax law could have a profound impact on our bottomline. The corporate tax rate is the highest in the world, and we pay a very high corporate tax rate and believe that it is time for that to re-examined, and that could potentially be a real boon to the Walt Disney Company.
He also mentioned the importance of getting in Trump’s ear about avoiding a trade war with China, which would do “short-term damage” to Disney’s businesses.
As we’ve made the point before, Iger misunderstands his role as the CEO of the Walt Disney Company; the CEO of Disney cannot just represent the business concerns of company, but must also represent the ethics and values that the Disney brand sells to families around the world.
People throughout the world associate the Disney name and brand with the highest level of quality branded content with an emphasis on family entertainment. Trump’s audiotape confession of being a sexual predator as well as his well-documented history of misogyny, religious discrimination, and bigotry does not complement the expectations that people have of the Walt Disney Company brand.
Iger cozying up to Trump shows a blatant disregard for Disney’s own brand integrity guidelines, and trivializes the messages of tolerance and self-empowerment that Disney sells to children in its films like Zootopia and Frozen.
As Iger points out in the interview, he’s the “sole representative” of the entertainment industry currently talking to Trump. There’s a very good reason for that; hopefully the Walt Disney Company recognizes that before it’s too late.