Disney CEO Bob Iger called the handling of stars wearing blackface at ABC a “private matter.”
At Disney, blackface is a “private matter,” according to CEO Bob Iger.
The Mouse House CEO evaded questions Thursday about how it handled recent revelations that ABC stars Jimmy Kimmel and Joy Behar wore blackface in the past.
“This particular incident we choose to deal with as a private matter,” Iger told shareholders at the company’s meeting in St. Louis.
“We don’t condone the use of blackface under any circumstance in our world today,” Iger said. “We dealt with the incidences privately. We did not feel it required any particular comment.”
Iger said the issue was dealt with “swiftly” but he declined to elaborate.
Neither Behar nor Kimmel wore blackface while working for ABC, but questions about both stars’ pasts arose recently.
Kimmel’s blackface controversy centered on a video clip of the late night talk show host impersonating former NBA player Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey while wearing dark makeup, which aired on“The Man Show,” a Comedy Central Series that ended in 2004.
Behar was questioned after a 2016 clip of “The View” emerged showing the co-host showcasing a photo of herself dressed as “a beautiful African queen” at a Halloween party when she was 29.
Iger made the comments after a Disney shareholder stood up to say he was “puzzled” by how Disney, which owns ABC, did not condemn the comedians.
The shareholder, Justin Danhof of conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research, said Disney’s silence reeked of “hypocrisy” given criticism ABC personalities, including Behar, have lobbed at other people entangled in blackface controversies, including former NBC host Megyn Kelly.
Reached by The Post, Danhof said he’s still waiting for an answer to his question.
“They are handling the issue privately? What does that even mean? Did they have their pay docked? Were they suspended?” he said. “Bob Iger is the most powerful man in Hollywood. I just wanted to know what the standards were.”
Iger was equally coy on the timing of the company’s planned acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox, only saying the much-anticipated deal will close “soon.”