Disney head Bob Iger warned that America’s heated discourse, fueled by the fires of social media, is tearing the country apart.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Iger called for Americans to return to “civil discourse” when accepting the 2019 Humanitarian Award at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s annual National Tribute Dinner on Wednesday.
“We have to change how we talk to each other,” Iger said. “Maybe we should just start by reconnecting with those friends and family members that we haven’t spoken to since the 2016 election.”
Iger went on to say that the hate and anger Americans have for one another will drag the country into “the abyss,” adding that politics are now dominated by contempt.
“We are losing ground,” Iger said. “Hate and anger are dragging us towards 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 also recalled Hitler, not in the political sense, but rather in the social sense, saying the homicidal dictator would have loved social media because it only validates convictions while affirming deep fears.
“Hitler would have loved social media,” Iger said, noting that it is “constantly validating our convictions and amplifying our deepest fears” and “makes it far too easy to deny our shared humanity.”
Iger said that it “is possible to argue policy without attacking people.”
The Disney head issued his bi-partisan call to civility on the same day it was announced he will be co-hosting a fundraiser for none other than the 2020 Democratic Senate candidates. From Variety:
Walt Disney Co. chairman and CEO Bob Iger is co-hosting and event next week with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and a series of Democrats seeking reelection in 2020, as the party hopes to win back the majority.
Also co-hosting the “cocktails and conversation” event are Alan Horn, the chairman of Walt Disney Studios, and his wife Cindy Horn, a longtime environmental activist.
According to an invite obtained by Variety, the April 17 event will feature Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto, who is chairing the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, along with three incumbents up for reelection: Gary Peters of Michigan, Mark Warner of Virginia and Jack Reed of Rhode Island.
Tickets to the event are set at a maximum of $52,300 per person, and $104,600 per couple. The money will go to Senate Impact 2020, a joint fundraising committee that will split proceeds between the candidates and the DSCC.
In February 2018, Iger previously hosted a fundraiser for Democratic candidates in the midterms, which was also attended by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.
Accepting the humanitarian award, Iger said he wants to “inspired by big ideas,” advising people that they should make whomever they support “earn it.”
“We have the responsibility to fix what is broken,” he concluded. “The world needs us to be better. Each one of us has the obligation to be part of the solution.”