Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Garner Push for Bob Iger Presidential Run

Bob Iger may not be running for president, but the Disney boss appears to have major support in Hollywood should he decide to join the race.

“Mr. Iger is everything you could want in a leader,” Jennifer Garner told Variety Wednesday at the Save the Children Centennial Celebration: Once in a Lifetime gala in Los Angeles. “I dare to say he is presidential. He’s dignified, he’s a risk-taker, he is down to earth, he is wise, and he has integrity. I would hand him any job I possibly could.”

When asked if she would hand Iger the Democratic presidential nomination, Garner, a Save the Children trustee and host of the celebration, responded with a laugh, “Is it too late?”

Iger was honored at the gala with the Centennial Award, presented by Oprah Winfrey.

“I’ll tell you the truth, this is not really where I intended to be tonight,” Winfrey said. “I was hoping that by this time in early fall, I would be knocking on doors in Des Moines, wearing an ‘Iger 2020’ t-shirt. Because I really do believe that Bob Iger’s guidance and decency is exactly what the country needs right now.”

She continued, “But since my canvassing Iger strategy doesn’t seem to be in the cards, I’m happy to be here with all of you to honor a man who has devoted himself to actually lifting the spirits of children all over the world. Kids have always been at the heart of Disney’s philanthropic efforts, so what better organization for Bob to join forces with than one that shares Disney’s values so perfectly like Save the Children.”

Iger, who recently revealed that he’s had conversations with former President Barack Obama and his family about a potential run, joked upon taking the stage, “Oprah, I am reminded of something that Ronald Reagan said to Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential debate, ‘There you go again.’ Please, I am not about to become the 25th or the 30th person seeking the presidency in 2020.

“I certainly hope that whoever runs — and whoever wins — makes the safety and well-being of children their number one priority,” Iger said. “As I think you would expect as the CEO of Disney, exuding optimism is a real priority. But let’s face it, the world around us is becoming increasingly hostile and more dangerous to children. Rampant gun violence, regional wars, terrorism, unchecked climate change, growing intolerance, economic instability and so many other threats including ugly and abhorrent politics and short-sighted policies that are mortgaging the future of our world.

He went on,” I believe that profound change is needed to ensure that every child has the support they need to thrive and to rise and to become everything that God meant them to be, regardless of background, regardless of ethnicity, geography or circumstance.”

Iger, who spearheaded a partnership between Save the Children and the Walt Disney Company to fund relief efforts in disaster-stricken communities, concluded the evening by asking the assembled crowd to lend their support.

“The mission of Save the Children is more critical than ever but we also know that we can’t do it alone,” Iger said. “We all have a responsibility to be part of the solution as individuals and leaders and corporations with the reach and the resources to make a big difference. So that’s the message that I think we all should take home with us tonight.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Anne Hathaway Modern Love

    Anne Hathaway Talks Mental Health Awareness, Playing a Bipolar Woman on Amazon's 'Modern Love'

    In Amazon Prime’s upcoming “Modern Love,” Anne Hathaway sheds light on an important facet of living with mental health issues, playing a bipolar woman who struggles with dating. “We’re all becoming more sensitive, wiser and more cognizant of gentility, and especially emotional gentility. I think those conversations are starting to happen. And I think the desire [...]

  • Margot Robbie, Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron.

    Charlize Theron Could Win Second Oscar for Playing Megyn Kelly in 'Bombshell'

    Charlize Theron walked on stage before a screening of “Bombshell” at West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center on Sunday night and announced to the crowd, “I’m about to s— myself.” The Oscar winner had good reason to be nervous. The screening of the Jay Roach-directed drama about the fall of Fox News boss Roger Ailes was [...]

  • Charlize Theron speaks at the GEANCO

    Charlize Theron Talks 'White Privilege,' Growing Up During Apartheid in South Africa

    Charlize Theron, during an onstage discussion with her “Gringo” costar David Oyelowo about philanthropy at Thursday’s annual fundraiser for Nigerian children’s educational and health program GEANCO, said she was a beneficiary of “white privilege” while growing up in Apartheid-torn South Africa. “I obviously am a white person who benefited from my white privilege,” Theron said [...]

  • Lyliana Wray, Sam Ashe Arnold, Miya

    ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark’ Revival Team on Living Up to the Series’ Legacy

    The 2019 revival of “Are You Afraid of the Dark?” centers around the Carnival of Doom, a place that star Jeremy Ray Taylor (“It Chapter Two”) describes as “beautiful on the outside, but…in the middle of it, there are definitely dark secrets. Variety caught up with the young star during a carnival-themed celebration at Row DTLA [...]

  • Charlize Theron'The Addams Family' film premiere,

    Charlize Theron Speaks Immigration, Diversity in ‘The Addams Family’

    They’re creepy, they’re kooky, and they’re an allegory for immigration in America.  Charlize Theron discussed the changing face of the nuclear family and her animated film, “The Addams Family,” with Variety at the movie’s recent premiere at the Century City Mall in Los Angeles. “When you think of [the Addams] being around since the sixties, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content