×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Bob Iger Skirts Fox Questions, Ponders Political ‘Polarization’ at Vanity Fair Summit Kickoff

Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger played a game of show, not tell, to kick off Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles on Tuesday.

Iger, having an atypically visible week following his Time magazine cover drop, sat for the first conversation of a two-day leadership conference hosted by the magazine — a wide-ranging chat that focused more on his morning routine and “Lion King” footage than Disney’s tremendous task of ingesting Fox’s film and TV assets.

“I’ve worked for some folks over the years, and I’ve studied others like Walt Disney and Steve Jobs who believed ‘no risk, no reward,'” Iger told historian Doris Kearns Goodwin when asked if he “walks around the carpet at night” worrying about his decision-making.

As a clear picture of Fox-under-Disney leadership emerges, and an inevitable avalanche of layoffs and paradigm shifts loom, the 67-year-old CEO focused instead on the legacy of Disney as a storyteller.

“One thing in studying Walt, he really believed in what he was doing,” Iger told Goodwin. “It takes the event of risk off the table.”

He then turned the tables on the historian and author (“Leadership in Turbulent Times”), who is so affectionate with the clubhouse of U.S. presidents that she referred to the leaders as “my guys.”

Seeming to reference the events surrounding the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, Iger said we’ve been watching “an endless march toward polarization in our country. In the last two weeks, that polarization is complete.”

Goodwin said both leadership and the citizenry needed to “not accept that what we’re seeing is the norm. [A culture of] alternative facts, untruth, lies. To not accept that that’s a healthy political system.”

Talk shifted to Iger’s habits (4:15 a.m. wake-up time, no screens or reading before his workout) and thoughts about his own retirement.

“I have not obsessed about my legacy. I have been given this wonderful opportunity,” he said, recalling watching Mickey Mouse on a black-and-white TV set as a child.

“I inherited, or was handed, this storied company that was a quintessential 20th century company,” said Iger, whose focus now is “turning it into a real 21st century company to shine bright in a new world.”

More Film

  • Three Identical Strangers

    Film News Roundup: 'Three Identical Strangers' Feature Adaptation Taps 'Bohemian Rhapsody' Writer

    In today’s film news roundup, “Three Identical Strangers” is moving ahead, Skeet Ulrich has been cast with Tom Hanks, the “Minions” sequel has been titled and “Vegas Dave” is getting a movie. MCCARTEN ATTACHED “Bohemian Rhapsody” screenwriter Anthony McCarten will write and produce the feature adaptation of the documentary “Three Identical Strangers.” Raw, Film4 and [...]

  • Bong Joon-ho, Choi Woo-shik. Director Bong

    Bong Joon-ho's 'Parasite' Earns Five-Minute Cannes Ovation

    Just days after the announcement of the selection of “Parasite” for main competition at the Cannes Film Festival, South Korean director Bong Joon-ho warned members of the local press not to expect his film to win the Palme d’Or. He also suggested that the film was “hyper local” and possibly difficult for foreign audiences to [...]

  • 'Parasite' Review: A Brilliant, Bleak Bong

    Cannes Film Review: 'Parasite'

    A laugh turns into a snarl which gets stuck in the throat like a sob — or an arrow through the neck — in Bong Joon-ho’s latest wild, wild ride, “Parasite.” On paper, that might not sound so very different from the experience of watching Bong’s “Snowpiercer,” “Memories of Murder” “The Host” or “Okja.” The [...]

  • 'Maradona' Director Asif Kapadia Talks About

    'Diego Maradona' Director Asif Kapadia Talks About His Cannes Doc

    Global sports icon and lauded soccer player Diego Maradona’s dramatic life intrigued Oscar and BAFTA winner director Asif Kapadia (“Amy,” “Senna”) while he was still in film school. “It had an incredibly strong backstory and extremes of good and dark,” he recalls. Fast-forward to more than 20 years later as his feature documentary, “Diego Maradona” [...]

  • the long walk

    Stephen King's 'The Long Walk' Film Taps 'Scary Stories to Tell' Director

    New Line has tapped André Øvredal to direct the feature adaptation of Stephen King’s dystopian thriller “The Long Walk.” Øvredal’s credits include mystery thriller “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” and the upcoming horror film “Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark,” co-written and produced by Guillermo del Toro and releasing on Aug. 9. James Vanderbilt [...]

  • Central Partnership Inks Multiple Deals on

    Cannes: Central Partnership Inks Multiple Deals on 'Billion' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Russia’s Central Partnership has closed several territory sales on Roman Prygunov’s comedy crime thriller “Billion.” Central Partnership has sold the movie to China (Jetsen Huashi Media), Turkey (ATV), France and French-speaking territories (Trade Media), Bulgaria (A Plus Film) and Baltics (GPI). The film centers on banker Matvey Levin, who goes to great lengths to avoid [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content