"Hitler would have loved social media."
Bob Iger and Donald Trump's beef is no secret.
And on Thursday night the Disney CEO may have taken the most vicious swipe of the fallout to date when he appeared to compare the President to Adolf Hitler.
Receiving the Humanitarian Award from the Jewish human rights organization the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Iger declared that "Hitler would have loved social media"; while he didn't name the POTUS, he was referring to the current state of political discourse, and the run up to the 2020 presidential election.
Donald Trump's love of social media is widely known. He boasts almost 60 million Twitter followers; between first declaring his candidacy on June 16, 2015 and the second anniversary of his presidency on January 20 of this year, Trump tweeted 14,401 times — an average of 11 times a day.
"It’s the most powerful marketing tool an extremist could ever hope for because by design social media reflects a narrow world view filtering out anything that challenges our beliefs while constantly validating our convictions and amplifying our deepest fears," Iger said, per Variety."
"It creates a false sense that everyone shares the same opinion. Social media allows evil to prey on troubled minds and lost souls and we all know that social news feeds can contain more fiction than fact, propagating vile ideology that has no place in a civil society that values human life."
He continued: "Hate and anger are dragging us toward the abyss once again. Apathy is actually growing. In the last few years, we have been harshly reminded that hate takes many forms, sometimes disguising itself as more socially acceptable expression like fear or resentment or contempt. It is consuming our public discourse and shaping our country and culture into something that is wholly unrecognizable to those of us who still believe in civility, human rights and basic decency."
He called on the audience to “once again renounce and reject hate in all forms', and "demand more" from elected officials. “I want to hear a pitch that isn’t grounded in the contempt of others," he said. “We have the responsibility to fix what is broken. We also have the power to do it now. We can do better. The world needs us to be better."
Iger and Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn are set to host a fundraiser for 2020 senate candidates later this year. Introducing Iger to the stage, former Disney chair Jeffrey Katzenberg said: "No matter how much I begged Bob, he wasn’t willing to run for president."
Trump and Iger's beef goes back to June 2017, when Iger stepped down from Trump's business advisory council over his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate deal, saying it was "as a matter of principle."
In May of last year, Trump attacked Iger after Disney-owned ABC News ran a report in which investigative journalist Brian Ross claimed that as a candidate in 2016, he directed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials. The network was forced to run a correction and apology, and Ross was suspended.
"Iger, where is my call of apology?" Trump tweeted. "You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!"
A day earlier he demanded another apology after Iger apologized to Obama administration adviser Valerie Jarrett over racist comments made by Roseanne Barr, insisting he was owed the same courtesy because of all the "HORRIBLE statements" made about him on ABC.
Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that “ABC does not tolerate comments like those” made by Roseanne Barr. Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn’t get the call?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 30, 2018
Iger, where is my call of apology? You and ABC have offended millions of people, and they demand a response. How is Brian Ross doing? He tanked the market with an ABC lie, yet no apology. Double Standard!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 31, 2018