In a fiery speech warning of the collapse of civility in America, Disney chief Bob Iger said, “We are losing ground,” as he accepted the 2019 Humanitarian Award at the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s annual National Tribute Dinner, Scott Feinberg writes in The Hollywood Reporter.
Feinberg quotes Iger saying: “Hate and anger are dragging us toward the abyss once again, and apathy is growing … consuming our public discourse and shaping our country into something that is wholly unrecognizable.” Iger added: “Our politics, in particular, are now dominated by contempt.”
Iger was one of four honorees at the event, held at the Beverly Hilton.
“The other three, who received Medals of Valor, were Jeffrey Myers, the rabbi at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue, which was the site of a mass shooting last October; Kurt Kleinmann, whose late brother chose to accompany his late father to Auschwitz rather than be separated; and Florence Phillips, who has tailored ESL courses for immigrants seeking to become American citizens,” Feinberg reports.
Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the event, “ribbed his boss, Iger, noting that previous recipients of the Humanitarian Award include the since-disgraced Harvey Weinstein (2015) and Les Moonves (2018),” Feinberg notes. Kimmel quipped: “Let’s just say, mistakes were made!”
Feinberg adds: “The Disney chief, for his part, asserted, ‘Hitler would have loved social media,’ suggesting that it is ‘constantly validating our convictions and amplifying our deepest fears’ and ‘makes it far too easy to deny our shared humanity.’ He emphasized that ‘it is possible to argue policy without attacking people’ and that ‘we have to change how we talk to each other’ before suggesting, ‘Maybe we should just start by reconnecting with those friends and family members that we haven’t spoken to since the 2016 election.'”
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