News Mar 08, 2017 08:46 PM EST

Disney chief defends seat on Trump’s business advisory council

By Joyce C. Abaño

Walt Disney Co.'s CEO defended his seat on US President Donald Trump's advisory council saying it is an opportunity to voice opinions that will benefit Disney and the company's shareholders.

Bob Iger, Walt Disney's chief executive, had said during Disney's annual shareholders meeting that he had no intention of stepping down from the group, as some of his critics have urged him to do.

A member of the Colorado People's Alliance voiced out Iger's decision to stay on the council suggests Disney "is tacitly endorsing Trump's agenda."

Iger said he does not believe him being a member "supports or endorses" Trump's policies. He said, however, it was important that they have input in a forum where policies are being thought out.

He said, during a meeting held in Denver, that it would be in the best interest of Disney and its shareholders to be there "in the room where it happens" to be able to express opinions.

The Disney chief stated he would at times express views "likely to be adversarial" to the president.

Travis Kalanick, Uber Technologies Inc UBER.UL CEO, had quit Trump's advisory group last month bending to the pressure from activists and employees who have opposed the present administration's immigration policies.

According to Iger, immigration, which had helped Disney in many ways, could be one example that he could address on the council. He said the US and Disney have benefited from an open and fair immigration policy, and added he doesn't "happen to believe policies that single people out by religion are fair and just."

Activists have been asking Iger to step down from President Trump's Strategic and Policy Forum, stating being on the president's business advisory council runs counter to Disney's family-friendly core values of equality, diversity, and inclusion and it may seem as if he is passively endorsing the US president's controversial positions.

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