Disney CEO Says Joy Behar and Jimmy Kimmel ‘Blackface’ Controversies Are a ‘Private Matter’

Bob Iger told a shareholder this week the television hosts were 'swiftly' dealt with — but he refused to elaborate

By Zachary Leeman | March 8, 2019

Disney CEO Bob Iger believes that dealing with an employee who’s worn blackface is a private matter.

Pressed about recent controversies surrounding television hosts Jimmy Kimmel and Joy Behar — who on separate occasions both donned a form of blackface in their pasts — Iger reportedly dismissed the issues as a “private matter” to shareholders.

“This particular incident we choose to deal with as a private matter,” Iger said at a company meeting in St. Louis on Thursday, according to The New York Post.

A recording of Iger’s comments was released to YouTube.

“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 both Kimmel and Behar were dealt with “swiftly,” but he refused to elaborate on whatever particular punishments were doled out to either star.

Kimmel’s blackface incident occurred while he was hosting “The Man Show,” a comedy series that ended in 2004.

Kimmel portrayed NBA player Karl Malone and Oprah Winfrey in skits while wearing dark makeup.

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Behar’s incident occurred at a party she went to years ago, in which she dressed as a “beautiful African queen.”

Behar was 29 years old at the time, but the incident got attention recently when a 2016 clip of Behar on “The View” showing off the costume went viral.

The shareholder who pressed Iger for an answer on Kimmel and Behar — Justin Danhof, of the conservative think tank National Center for Public Policy Research — told The New York Post he is still waiting for a real answer after hearing Iger’s Thursday comments.

“They are handling the issue privately? What does that even mean? Did they have their pay docked? Were they suspended?” Danhof said.

“Bob Iger is the most powerful man in Hollywood. I just wanted to know what the standards were.”

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What does not help Disney’s position here is its swift firing of comedian Roseanne Barr, a known conservative.

Barr was fired and removed from her successful series after she released a tweet targeting former Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.

The tweet was deemed by some to be racist, though Barr immediately apologized and said it was simply a bad joke meant to highlight Jarrett’s war-mongering policies.

The difference between Barr and Kimmel/Behar? Barr is an open Trump supporter whose show often defended right-of-center Americans.

On the other hand, Kimmel and Behar were and are outspoken Trump critics. And on both of their shows — “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “The View” — they almost exclusively target conservatives with their humor.

Check out Iger’s full comments below:

This piece originally appeared in LifeZette and is used by permission.

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