disneyCEO_LEAD

Leslie Odom Jr. as Aaron Burr in Hamilton, whose historical character is not in ‘The Room Where it Happened’ (left), Disney CEO Bob Iger (right); Photo: David Korrins (left), Chip Somodevilla (right)


Whether you like him or hate him — or simply have just started tolerating him until the foretold 2020 Kanye West presidential run — Donald Trump’s presidency has been one heated debate after the next.

Business leaders who are members of Trump’s advisory council are under pressure to resign from their positions. Last month, Uber’s Travis Kalanick was coerced into stepping down from the economic council after the social media campaign #DeleteUber drew much attention to the company.

Now, Disney’s CEO is facing flack from investors at this year’s shareholder meeting in Denver, Colorado.

Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, defended his choice to remain on the advisory council by quoting the lyrics from the hip hop musical Hamilton, reports the LA Times, who had a reporter at the shareholder meeting. The song “The Room Where it Happens” contains the telling refrain about the importance of being in the place where decisions are made:

No one else was in
The room where it happened
The room where it happened
The room where it happened
No one else was in
The room where it happened
The room where it happened
The room where it happened

Following up with the Times, Iger explained, “I think it’s an important opportunity to be in the room,” continuing, “I made a decision I thought was in the best interest of our company and the industry.”

Iger does not think that his being on the Trump advisory board necessarily implies that he supports the policies of the president. Instead, he sees it as a valuable opportunity to engage with the body politic that not everyone may have — and so performs it like one would a duty.

A closer look at the lyrics for “The Room Where it Happens” shows that a reference to the song was a smart choice for the business leader, as the song depicts the exact situation of when one person has power without any kinds of checks or balances, referencing Aaron Burr’s absence at an infamous 1790 ‘dinner table bargain‘ that saw Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison leverage the placement of the nation’s capital city:

No one really knows how the
Parties get to yes
The pieces that are sacrificed in
Ev’ry game of chess
We just assume that it happens
But no one else is in
The room where it happens

Listen to the song below and ponder how you can have an impact by simply being in “the room where it happens.”