Disney chairman and CEO Robert Iger is speaking out about gun violence in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting that left at least 59 people dead and more than 500 others wounded, calling the attack a “human tragedy of huge proportions” that’s representative of a national crisis.
“We should be outraged by it,” Iger said on stage Tuesday at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit. “In this day and age we get outraged when an athlete doesn’t stand for the national anthem — where is the outrage here?”
He added, “I don’t think this is politics. I think this is a huge crisis for our country. … We should be demanding a dialogue about this from our politicians and demanding some productive action that is aimed at stopping these things from happening.”
The tragedy of the Las Vegas shooting has been deeply felt at Disney; one of the company’s employees was killed in the attack and another seriously injured. In a statement issued Monday, Iger said, “Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by the tragic events in Las Vegas — the victims of violence, the witnesses, and the friends and families mourning loved ones. We are especially heartbroken over the loss of one of our own to this unconscionable and senseless act. Carrie Barnette had been a member of the Disney California Adventure culinary team for 10 years and was beloved by her friends and colleagues. Our thoughts are with her family, along with our support, during this incredibly difficult time. Another valued Disney cast member, Jessica Milam, was also seriously injured and we are praying for her recovery.”
During Iger’s wide-ranging interview with Vanity Fair special correspondent Nick Bilton on Tuesday, he also said he still intends to step down as Disney chief when his contract ends in 2019. “It’s time,” Iger said.
Although speculation has swirled that Iger might run for office after he leaves the Mouse House, he demurred on that topic, telling Bilton, “Let’s not go there.”