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Is Bob Iger Apologizing After Crude SAG Strike Remarks?

Bob Iger
Credit: Variety

The Disney CEO is retracting some of his words. Bob Iger, CEO of The Walt Disney Company, signed on for the role again in November 2022. Recently, he extended his contract with the company until 2026. As his efforts of helping The Walt Disney Company get into better standing are not yet finished, he is determined to leave it better than he found it.

As Iger’s company transformation is underway, he has ruffled some feathers in the process. On May 2, 2023, the Writers Guild of America went on strike for better pay. In July, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) joined in. Since July, both writers and actors have been on strike, speaking out on the injustice of job security, pay, and the regulation of artificial intelligence in projects. Naturally, due to the strikes, films and shows alike have been affected.

Actors strike

Credit: The Hollywood Reporter

CEO Bob Iger Backtracks Statement

CEO Bob Iger got caught up in headlines after making remarks about the strike. His opinions spread like wildfire, causing the CEO to now have to backtrack some of his words. Initially, he spoke in an interview with CNBC, saying, “It’s very disturbing to me. We’ve talked about disruptive forces in this business and all the challenges we’re facing; the recovery from COVID, which is ongoing, it’s not completely back. This is the worst time in the world to add to that disruption.”

Bob Iger

Credit: CNN

It seems the use of “disturbing” and “disruption” made its way directly to the headlines, angering many on strike. Now it also seems the CEO is taking back his previous words and writing a new script to move forward. Iger addressed the strike yet again during the quarterly earnings call Wednesday, August 9. He responded,

“Nothing is more important to this company than its relationships with the creative community. That includes actors, writers, animators, directors and producers,” Iger said. “I have deep respect and appreciation to how vital they are to the extraordinary creative enginge that drives this company and our industry. It is my fervent hope that we can quickly find solutions to the issues that have kept us apart these past few months. And I am personally committed to working toward this result.”

As Disney Dining wrote, “This attempt to smooth ruffled feathers comes on the heels of an earnings statement that is lackluster at best.” Although it seems Iger is trying to mend with his words, it may take more for actors and writers to feel the value from the Disney CEO. Furthermore, reports circulated of The Walt Disney Company looking to hire artificial intelligence specialists. However, the job listings were posted prior to the strike, holding some weight to the argument.

Bob Iger

Credit: D23

Iger still seems to feel confident all issues will turn around. What are your thoughts?

About Sarahfina LoFaso

Sarahfina is an author, and adjunct professor with a passion for writing and of course, all things Disney! Cinderella is her favorite princess and movie, both the animated and Rodgers & Hammerstein’s 1997 version. In close second place is Hercules, tied with Saving Mr. Banks. Sarahfina enjoys writing about the history of Walt Disney and all the parks, along with food, dining, and resorts. Her favorite ride is the Tower of Terror, and her favorite restaurant right now is the San Angel Inn, in EPCOT. Most importantly, her must-have snack every Disney trip is the controversial turkey leg, because it reminds her of her family trips as a kid with her grandparents.