Jen Yamato is a Deadline contributor.
Disney‘s Bob Iger said he’s taking measures to monitor violence in his company’s video game interests following the Newtown school shooting and President Obama’s subsequent gun initiatives, which include a study of the impact of violent video games. The chairman and CEO said at a Q&A with Brian Grazer today during a HRTS Newsmakers Luncheon that he met yesterday within the company’s ranks “to take stock in everything we’ve got that can be considered near the line or over the line”. Iger refused to speak with press before and after the hour-long chat, which was moderated by longtime pal Grazer, although a rep tells Deadline any official plans to review the titles have not been solidified. “Fortunately at Disney there’s very little [violent content], but I still want to make sure we’re asking ourselves the right questions in terms of that standard,” Iger said, “and also [ensure] we’re willing to be a part of a dialogue in today’s world that I think is pretty necessary in terms of what our role is and what our role should be”.
Iger also took time to promote his new MyMagic+MagicBands digital venture, a Disney theme park initiative set to launch this spring at Disney World that enables park visitors to upload personal information into digitally enhanced wristbands designed to enhance their experience. The so-called “MagicBands” store information in a “cloud” that will allow patrons to reserve time on rides and in restaurants, upload birthday information, and track guest interaction and purchasing behavior — trading privacy for convenience. Iger says the future of MagicBands can include even more meticulously collected interactive data that one day will allow guests to go cash- and credit card-free and “order food in advance, sit at table… we’ll know because of GPS positioning where you’re sitting and we’ll know what you ordered”.
Acknowledging the challenges of the age of DVR, competing platforms, increased competition and advertiser demands that face television content programmers, Iger advocated taking chances and pointed to his fruitful 2005 iTunes partnership with late Apple founder Steve Jobs that put ABC shows like Desperate Housewives and Lost on the emerging platform before the rise of digital distribution. With Disney stock hitting a record high today Iger’s chat with Grazer had a jovial tone; between celebrations of his Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm acquisitions, Iger dropped quotables from his personal “risk-taking manifesto”, like “Be accessible, treat people fairly, take chances”.
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