On the laundry list of insults and invective hurled at Donald Trump one of those barbs is “America elected a reality-show star” to the White House. Without a sense of irony the Democrats may be looking to Iron Man to oppose him.
Not Robert Downey Jr., but the man who sees fit to usher Tony Stark to the screen, Robert Iger. One of the titans of Hollywood, Iger is the CEO of arguably Hollywood’s biggest studio, Disney. The Hollywood Reporter states sources close to the titan indicate he is seriously considering a White House run in 2020.
Not only is he a major force in Burbank but he has high political connections. Iger counts al Gore as one of his closest allies. He also has been connected with former NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A growing number of politically active names in Hollywood mention Iger as a potential name on the Democrat ticket.
More than an idle whim, this appears to be a growing desire. It was last summer, in a one-on-one interview with The Hollywood Reporter, when early talk of a political future may exist for the Disney Chairman. “A lot of people — a lot — have urged me to seek political office. All kinds of different jobs. Everybody has got a different idea for me”, he said in June, 2016.
Iger was non-committal as to what he may pursue:
- I will not be specific about any office. I wouldn’t rule in or rule out … Honestly, I’m interested in politics, I’m interested in giving back in some form, performing some sort of civic duty. But I’m not exploring a run for governor or senator or anything along those lines. I’m focused on running Disney.
Since that time a number of things have changed. First, just one month after his interview, Donald Trump was named the Republican Presidential nominee. This made the prospect of non-politicians entering the arena far more palpable.
It was after this time that Iger sought out Bloomberg — another corporate figure who transitioned into politics without experience. Their talk was specifically to discuss what is involved in entering the arena as an outsider.
And of course, Trump’s eventual triumph in November sent shockwaves throughout Hollywood. Activism and mobilizing political opposition has become a heightened cause in Dream Land. The ascendency of a political neophyte to the highest office only makes it appealing to other executives contemplating their own run.
Yet the Disney CEO is not lacking in challenges that may impact his prospects. In a highly publicized controversy involving H-1B visas in the company’s workforce. Hundreds of tech workers at Disney were laid off in 2015, but only after they were instructed to train their eventual replacements. These were foreign workers seemingly brought in to take over American positions.
Another issue is a recent one, involving working with Donald Trump. Bob Iger is a member of the newly formed President’s Strategic and Policy Forum. A number of CEOs have joined the group which has a mission of determining how government policy impacts the private economic sector in growth and job creation.
This is not being tolerated by many on the left. Iger’s presence on the council has provoked activists groups to…take action. The usual reactions are in play; petitions have been disseminated on the web, and a group of protesters gathered outside Disney World in Orlando to call for Iger to step down.
Bob Iger’s current contract is set to expire next year. He has been looking to groom his successor within the company, but at times he also hedged on the declaration. This could be the biggest indicator. By the summer of 2018 his status with the studio should indicate the likelihood of him entering the political arena.