Sports

Disney CEO Explains Why He Didn’t Fire Jemele Hill

Disney CEO Bob Iger explained Tuesday that ESPN did not fire host Jemele Hill for calling Donald Trump a white supremacist because a lot of people were “outraged” by the president’s response to the Charlottesville protests where a woman was killed.

“It’s been complicated because as people at ESPN comment about these subjects, and in some cases editorialize about them,” Iger explained at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles on Tuesday. “We try to remind them that Jemele Hill is an ESPN employee and she can’t separate herself from that when she speaks publicly or when she uses Twitter.”

Hill’s tweets directed followed the protests in Charlottesville in August, during which white supremacist groups clashed with counter-protesters. Hill attributed the rise of white supremacists in America to Trump and even called the president a “white supremacist,” yet was never fired.

“In this particular case, I did get involved. I felt that we had to take context into account. And context in that case included what was going on in America,” Iger said. “And what I felt was going on in America, what we felt was going on in America, is that there are a lot of people out there who were outraged, particularly black people,” he explained.

The tweets have still not been deleted.

Iger also said that his own lack of understanding of the prejudice Hill has experienced contributed to the lack of discipline. (REPORT: ESPN Tried To Get Another Black Host To Fill In For Jemele Hill)

“I’ve not ever experienced prejudice, certainly not racism. It’s even hard for me to understand what they’re feeling about this, what it feels like to experience racism,” Iger added. “So I felt we needed to take into account what Jemele and other people at ESPN were feeling in this time. That resulted in us not taking action on the tweet she put out.”