At least 59 people were killed during the Las Vegas mass shooting on Sunday night. Among them — Carrie Barnette, a Disneyland employee.
Two other Disney employees were shot and more than 50 employees attended the festival. Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Iger said it’s his job as the leader to show empathy — demonstrably.
“With that kind of mass destruction of human beings — it has to touch you in some way. It’s been a very trying time not just for us but for so many people. As a CEO you try more than anything else to show compassion, all those who are affected, including the families of those who were shot and killed. There’s a lot of mourning going on at Disney,” said Iger at The New Establishment Summit in Los Angeles.
A senseless, horrific, act, and a terrible loss for so many. We mourn a wonderful member of the Disney family: Carrie Barnette. Tragic.
— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) October 3, 2017
“These are incidents that touch everyone. Whether it’s Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Orlando, Virginia Tech or Vegas, it could easily be at any place in the country. This is a human tragedy of huge proportions,” he said.
“We should be outraged by it. In this day and age, we get outraged when an athlete doesn’t stand for the national anthem. I don’t think this is politics. I think this is a huge crisis of our country.”
‘We should be demanding dialogue from our politicians’
Citing the statistic that more Americans have died from guns since 1970 than wars since the American Revolution, Iger said individuals need to actually take action.
“We have the worst record in the modern world when it comes to gun violence and gun deaths. I’m not saying a change of law could have changed this outcome… but we should be demanding dialogue from our politicians and some sort of action,” he said.
Iger said a crucial way to keep his community safe has been to rely on one segment of his workforce: the housekeeping staff.
“We have some 35,000 hotel rooms in the US. We rely on housekeeping staff in terms of security. If they don’t have access to a room for a long period of time, if they see something that sets it off a bit, they let us know. It’s helped us a lot,” he explained.
Ultimately, Iger said his primary role during tragedies is to provide as much personal and corporate support as possible.
“When you touch as many people as we touch, it’s about keeping the people who work for us safe, keeping our guests safe…It’s a trying time whether you’re a company or a citizen of the US.”
Melody Hahm is a writer at Yahoo Finance, covering entrepreneurship, technology and real estate. Follow her on Twitter @melodyhahm.