News

World

Disney CEO Refuses to Comment on China Controversies, Fearing ‘Harm’ to Company

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger attends the European premiere of “The Lion King” in London (Henry Nicholls/Reuters)

Disney CEO Robert Iger refused on Tuesday to speak about the pro-democracy protests roiling Hong Kong because doing so might imperil his business interests.

“To take a position that could harm our company in some form would be a big mistake,” Iger told the Wall Street Journal’s Tech Live conference, explaining why he wouldn’t comment on the issue.

Iger called it a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” situation. He further commented that while he has spoken about political issues in the past when he thought it was in the company’s best interests, he did not think that doing so at this time would be a good idea.

Disney is set to release a new streaming service, called “Disney+,” within several weeks.

The recent standoff between the NBA and China began when Houston Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey tweeted in support of Hong Kong protesters. Morey swiftly removed the tweet and apologized to Chinese fans, however the Chinese Basketball Association severed all contact with the Rockets in retaliation. The Chinese government blocked TV coverage of two NBA exhibition games being held in China.

ESPN sports channel anchors were instructed to refrain from political commentary on the controversy. ESPN is owned by Disney, which is planning to release an ESPN streaming service as well.

Disney operates a theme park in Shanghai and generates billions of dollars in revenue in the Chinese market.

Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse slammed Iger in a statement.

“Sell your soul to save your profits’ is going to be a helluva plotline for Frozen 2,” said Sasse. “There are about a million Uyghurs in Chinese communist prisons who aren’t going to be visiting the Magic Kingdom anytime soon.”

On Tuesday night, former Los Angeles Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal defended Morey’s original tweet, which read “Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.”

“As American people, we do a lot of business in China,” O’Neal said. “And they know and understand our values and we understand their values. And one of our best values in America is free speech. We’re allowed to say what we want to say and we’re allowed to speak up on injustices, and that’s just how it goes.”

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
White House

On the Bidens, Schiff Opened the Door

You opened the door. Trial lawyers live in fear of that phrase. When a trial starts, both sides know what the allegations are. Both have had enough discovery to know what the adversary will try to prove. Just as significantly, both know what their own vulnerabilities are. A litigator spends his pretrial ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
World

Alarmists Were Wrong about the Soleimani Strike

Two weeks ago, the United States seemed on the brink of starting another war in the Middle East after a drone strike killed Iran’s most notorious spymaster, Qasem Soleimani, as he departed an international airport in Baghdad. The shadowy general, in charge of the Iranian equivalent of the CIA, was one of the ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
Elections

Buttigieg’s Hollow Military Bragging

The term “veteran” wields a strange talismanic power in American politics today; the military is almost the only institution in American life that has maintained very high favorability ratings over the past 30 years. Invocation of the sacred words “military service” invariably grants a presumed license to ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
White House

Impeachment Doesn’t Require a Crime

Senate Republicans, by and large, have reached an unspoken consensus about President Trump and Ukraine. He should not have put a temporary freeze on congressionally authorized aid to Ukraine, should not have dabbled with using the aid to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden or a nutty theory about Ukrainian ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Clarence Thomas Speaks

Those who know Justice Clarence Thomas say that any perception of him as dour or phlegmatic couldn't be more off-base. He's a charming, gracious, jovial man, full of bonhomie and easy with a laugh, or so I'm told by people who know him well. On summer breaks he likes to roam around the country in an RV and stay ... Read More