Kerry Washington honored Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger last night inside the TV Academy’s Saban Media Center, inducting him into the TV Academy’s Hall of Fame.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Washington talked about the CEO’s career rise, comparing his story to a fairytale-like a Disney princess.
“He began his career sweeping ashes out of the oven at Pizza Hut. If that is not a modern-day Cinderella, I don’t know what is. Then eventually, just like Cinderella, things changed when he befriended a mouse. He set out to change his fate. Like Moana, he went beyond the reef. Like Tiana, he kissed a few frogs, professionally speaking, I mean. Not every new TV show is going to be Grey’s Anatomy, but that’s the cost of being bold — and it was worth it,” she said.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Washington’s comparison drew rounds of giggles and laughs, but she did also offer him genuine praise for his bold moves, like putting a show like” Scandal” on ABC with a black woman as the lead of a network drama.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
“None of the other networks were doing it. No one had done it in almost 40 years, but Bob and the team of leadership that he had empowered, many of them women and women of color — Anne Sweeney, Channing Dungey, Betsy Beers, Shonda Rhimes — they never wavered. Bob helped to create a culture in television, where we take risks, where we can be creative and innovative and step into our own greatness because he stepped into his,” Washington said.
“You see, like a true Disney princess, Bob doesn’t choose the easy path. He follows the ones with thorns and traps, turbulence and waves because he wants what so many of us want: to tell good stories to tell them well, and to touch as many hearts as he can. … As a leader, he’s made it possible for others to become the heroes of their own stories. Without him, I’m not sure that I ever would have learned to be the hero of my own story, both on-screen and off. Thank you, Bob, for giving me dreams to dream and then making them come true,” she said.
The “Scandal” star spoke of Iger’s strength as a leader in television, “As a leader, he’s made it possible for others to become the heroes of their own stories. Without him, I’m not sure that I ever would have learned to be the hero of my own story, both on-screen and off. Thank you, Bob, for giving me dreams to dream and then making them come true.”
Iger took to the stage to receive his award and also urged the audience to promote more inclusivity, saying it should be the number one priority.
“Making sure that more women, minorities, and other underrepresented groups have the opportunity to tell their stories both on-screen and behind the camera so that they may play a bigger role and contribute even more meaningful ways to the quality and the resonance of the content that we create.”