FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 9, 2017
Contact: Robel Worku, (678) 907-3866
More Than a Half-Million Signatures Delivered at Disney Shareholder Meeting Demand that CEO Bob Iger Leave Trump’s Business Advisory Council
By association, Disney is complicit in Trump’s anti-immigrant, anti-refugee agenda. Disney can’t pick and choose which of Trump’s policies they support and which they don’t
DENVER – Community members and activists delivered more than 511,000 signed petitions to the Walt Disney Co. during its annual shareholder meeting in Denver Wednesday, demanding that CEO Bob Iger step down from President Trump’s Business Advisory Council.
Activists also spoke inside the shareholder meeting, calling on Iger directly to break ties with Trump, and noting potential harm to Disney’s brand from such a relationship.
The half-million signatures were collected by a coalition of organizations (see the list below) representing millions of people who have come together to hold Disney accountable to families.
“Business leaders like Iger are legitimizing and normalizing Trump’s entire agenda,” said Heidi Hess, CREDO’s senior campaign manager. “CEOs who are prioritizing access to political power and their companies’ profits over the core values of our democracy must do better.”
About 70 local activists rallied outside the shareholder meeting holding signs of Mickey Mouse wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat with the hashtag #BadMickey. They waved mock movie posters parodying Disney films and sang Disney tunes with lyrics about the impact Iger’s collaboration with Trump has on families.
“Folks here in Colorado, in our communities, are afraid to leave the house to drive their kids to school because they’re afraid of being picked up by ICE and not making it back home. Disney’s relationship with President Trump is an endorsement of these policies that hurt families,” Robel Worku, Colorado People’s Alliance, told shareholders in the meeting.
With Iger on the advisory council, Disney is tangled with the Trump agenda, tethering its brand and reputation to an anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-women administration and contradicting the Walt Disney Company’s stated values of inclusion and diversity.
“As an immigrant kid from Iran, I grew up in the U.S. and Disney movies became part of my picture of America. They taught me a sense of possibility; the importance of family and community; and sharp lines between right and wrong,” said Mehrdad Azemun, campaigns director for People’s Action, speaking inside the shareholder meeting.
“By its association, Disney is complicit in Trump’s Muslim ban and his anti-immigrant, anti-refugee agenda,” said Azemun. “Disney can’t pick and choose which of Trump’s policies they support and which they don’t. The only solution is for Bob Iger to leave Trump’s business council.”
Some of the half-million petitions signers said they will cancel family trips to Disney theme parks and avoid Disney films until Iger parts ways with Trump.
“My family is a Disney family, but families like mine deserve better, and we will not support a company that helps this hateful administration enact discriminatory policies against vulnerable communities,” said Jennifer Epps-Addison, President and Co-Executive director of Center for Popular Democracy, and a signer on the petition.
Serving on Donald Trump’s closed-door economic advisory board is risky business for major corporations. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned from Trump’s Advisory Council in February after an online campaign led more than 200,000 customers to delete their Uber accounts.
Photos and tweets from the rally: #BadMickey, #QuitTheCouncil, and #LetHimGo @WaltDisneyCo
Flickr photo album: https://www.flickr.com/photos/freepress/sets/72157677778525363
Colorado People’s Alliance (COPA) is a racial justice, member-driven organization dedicated to advancing and winning progressive social change locally, statewide and nationally. COPA builds power to improve the lives of all Coloradans through leadership development, organizing and alliance building.