Disney’s CEO Lashes Out Over Criticism of Marvel Movies

Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola made international headlines after criticizing Marvel movies. Many fans felt that the two legendary directors were snobbish in their appraisal of the films. Several people who have worked on Marvel films have defended the movies in response. Here’s what the CEO of Disney, Bob Iger, had to say about Scorsese and Coppola.

A replica of the Infinity Gauntlet from Marvel movies | Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images for Amazing Comic Conventions

Famous directors react to Marvel movies

Earlier this month, Scorsese said that Marvel movies are “not cinema” and Coppola responded “Martin was being kind when he said it wasn’t cinema. He didn’t say it was despicable, which is what I say.” In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Iger was asked about the comments Scorsese and Coppola made, saying “Well, it doesn’t bother me. Except I’m bothered on behalf of the people who worked on those movies. I don’t take it personally.”

Bob Iger defends Marvel movies

The CEO added “Well, they don’t see how the audience is reacting to them, first of all. They have the right to their opinions. Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese are two people I hold in the highest regard. In terms of the films they’ve made, the films I like. The films we’ve all watched.”

Left to right: Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Steven Spielberg, and George Lucas | Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Initially, Iger seemed to be rather cordial towards the directors despite their views on Marvel movies. Coppola and Scorsese have given the world several classic movies each; Coppola is primarily remembered for the films The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, and Apocalypse Now, whereas Scorsese is most known for directing Mean Streets, Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull, and The Departed. All these films have received a level of critical acclaim that Marvel movies rarely have.

Is Iger taking the criticism personally?

However, despite Iger’s initial statement that he did not take the directors’ criticisms personally, he later seemed to interpret their comments as personal attacks on other people who acted in or directed Marvel movies, which upset him. He continued “But when Francis uses the words ‘those films are despicable?’ I’d reserve the word ‘despicable’ to [sic] someone who committed mass murder. These are movies! To whom is he talking? Is he talking to Kevin Feige who runs Marvel? Or Taika Waititi, who directs, or Ryan Coogler who directs for us? Or Scarlett Johansson or Chad Boseman? I could name a number of people, Robert Downey Jr.?”

Bob Iger and Mickey Mouse | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

He continued: “If they want to b*tch about movies it’s certainly their right. I don’t know. I don’t understand. It seems so disrespectful to all the people that work on those films who are working just as hard as the people that work on their films and are putting their creative souls on the line, just like they are. You telling me Ryan Coogler making Black Panther is doing something somehow or another less than what Marty Scorsese or Francis Ford Coppola have ever done on any one of their movies? Come on. Yeah, I said it.”