Ike Perlmutter, CEO of Marvel Comics, pledged $1 million Thursday night to Donald Trump’s fundraiser for U.S. military veterans. He helped the Republican presidential frontrunner in his effort to draw attention away from the rest of the GOP candidates, who were debating on Fox News at the time.
But Perlmutter also drew waves of criticism on himself, as social media erupted with critiques, threats to boycott Marvel and rebuttals that said the businessman had the right to support candidates and causes of his choice.
Trump acknowledged the pledge Thursday evening at the fundraiser in Des Moines, saying Perlmutter was “an unbelievable man,” who is “one of the great, great men of our country in terms of business and talent.” Trump, the real estate mogul and reality television star, told an audience at the event that he had received a total of $6 million in pledges for veterans, including a $1 million donation of his own.
Twitter and other social media platforms flowed with derision, and some admiration, for Trump and Perlmutter.
One man on Twitter wrote that Perlmutter’s donation made him part of Trump’s “criminal empire.” Said another: “Ike Perlmutter is the worst. First he said female superhero movies aren’t financially viable and now he donates to Trump. Wow.”
But others said Perlmutter was supporting a good cause and should not be targeted. “People, Marvel (the company) didn’t give money to Trump,” tweeted one individual. “CEO Ike Perlmutter (wealthy private citizen) did. There’s a difference.” Another didn’t quite know how to respond, saying: “Conflicted about Ike Perlmutter donating to Trump. Could easily boycott Marvel, but the writers and artists are who I really support.”
The Perlmutter family made headlines last summer when it was reported that the Marvel boss’ wife, Laura, had donated $2 million to one of Trump’s Republican rivals, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
Perlmutter, a 73-year-old Israeli Army veteran who immigrated to the U.S. after the 1967 Six Day War, had previously lent support to veterans groups. And earlier this week, Marvel committed to support the Wounded Warrior Project.