Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger, 69, who stepped down as the company’s chief executive back in February 2020, is reportedly in the mix to serve as a U.S. ambassador.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Democrat Joe Biden has Iger near the top of a list of potential picks to serve as ambassador to either China or the United Kingdom. Sources told the news agency Jeffrey Katzenberg, co-founder of DreamWorks Animation and the founder of the failed streaming platform Quibi, could also be picked for an unspecified ambassador position.
Iger reportedly donated $250,000 to the Biden Victory Fund, a nine-figure joint fundraising committee, ahead of the 2020 general election.
The ex-Disney CEO, who served in the position for fifteen years, recently talked about his past desire to run for public office and enter American politics.
“I really thought about running for governor and running for senator and running for mayor of New York and ultimately thought about running for president, which is I guess the ultimate sacrifice really,” Iger told the “Coffee with Greats” podcast, reports CNBC.
Willow Bay, Iger’s wife, told him she was against the idea of a presidential run prior to the 2016 election, and he would be doing it without her by his side. After the 2016 election, however, she took a less firm stance when Iger brought up the topic again.
“She said that she married me for better or for worse, and if it’s something I wanted to do, she would stand by me, but she was against it,” recalled Iger, reports CNBC News.
“But I’m not sure I would have gotten as far as actually running,” Iger told Bloomberg News in a recent interview in which he talked about his previous times considering a run for the presidency. “I was starting to think more and more about how difficult the path might be in the Democratic Party for a businessman to actually get the nomination.”
It’s not clear whether Iger would accept the position of U.S. ambassador to the U.K. or to China if it were offered to him by a Biden administration. However, Iger recently suggested that he would serve in a Joe Biden administration if the position were a right fit for him.
“Giving back in some fashion — serving our country in some fashion — is certainly something that I would consider seriously,” Iger told Bloomberg in early December. “But a lot of it would depend on what it is, what the opportunity is, and whether I thought it would be something that I would both be stimulated by and be good at.”
Disney has recently come under fire for filming a portion of background footage for “Mulan” in the Xinjiang region of China — where the communist government has been ordering minorities to forced labor and also reportedly sterilizing them in a systematic fashion. The company also thanked the Turpan Municipal Bureau of Public Security in the film credits, an agency that has been sanctioned by the U.S. Commerce Department for helping to run so-called “re-eduction camps” for minorities, as well as several other government agencies responsible for propaganda, reported The Washington Post.
From The New York Times:
Disney worked overtime to ensure that “Mulan” would appeal to Chinese audiences. It cast household names, including Liu Yifei in the title role and Donnie Yen as Mulan’s regiment leader. The filmmakers cut a kiss between Mulan and her love interest on the advice of a Chinese test audience. Disney also shared the script with Chinese officials (a not-uncommon practice in Hollywood) and heeded the advice of Chinese consultants, who told Disney not to focus on a specific Chinese dynasty.