The meeting will bring more than a dozen executives, all members of an advisory board known as Trumps Strategy and Policy Forum, to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to discuss the presidents economic policy plans. Those executives have faced pressure to boycott the meeting in response to Trumps executive order banning refugees and citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.
Iger will instead attend a previously scheduled company board meeting at Disney headquarters in California. According to the New York Times Brooks Barnes, Iger told the White House last week he couldnt attend after Trumps team changed the date of the meeting. A source at Disney, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed this account but wouldnt comment further.The White House didnt return a request for comment.
Other executives set to attend the forum meeting include JPMorgan Chases Jamie Dimon, GMs Mary Barra and Blackstone Groups Stephen A. Schwarzman (who is the chairman of the forum). Its unclear if Iger plans to attend future meetings or if he will continue to advise the president.
Uber CEO Travis Kalanick was also a member of the forum and had planned to attend Fridays meeting.However, Kalanick resigned from the advisory board Thursdayafter intense criticism over his role on the board as well as the companys decision to keep Uber drivers on the road during a work stoppage by the New York Taxi Workers Alliance in solidarity with protests against Trumps Muslim ban. Over the weekend, #DeleteUber took hold on social media networks as angry Uber customers vowed to boycott the ride-hailing company for what they saw as tacit approval of Trumps policies.
Other executives on the advisory board, including Iger, have also faced criticism, though not at the level of the Uber boycott. A petition organized by consumer watchdog group SomeOfUs calling on the members of the advisory board to condemn Trumps executive order and resign from the board has drawn more than 115,000 signatures.
The forum provides a nonpartisan approach to key economic policy issues, reflecting an array of individual perspectives from a cross-section of industries, he said in a statement. I welcome the chance to be part of the important discussions about the most effective ways to grow jobs and expand economic opportunity in America.
Iger has not commented on Trumps travel ban.
CORRECTION: An early version of this article referred to Stephen A. Schwarzman as from Blackrock. He is chairman and CEO of The Blackstone Group.
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