Walt Disney Co.'s Chief Executive Officer Robert Iger said he was "appalled" and officially complained to the Palestinian government about a terrorist group's use of a Mickey Mouse-like character.
The Disney boss complained after a video of a figure resembling Mickey Mouse was posted on the Web site of a television station controlled by Hamas. Iger added that the company decided not to denounce the show publicly earlier in an effort to avoid drawing further attention to it.
The Hamas-ruled Palestinian government halted production of the show last month and had it removed from the station's Web site. The program, which is called "Tomorrow's Pioneers," shows a man dressed in a mouse costume teaching children militant Islamic beliefs.
Disney didn't speak out when Hamas militants used the Mickey Mouse look-alike to preach Islamic domination because the company felt it would be ineffective.
"We didn't mobilize our forces and seek to either have the clip taken down or to make any broad public statement about it," he said. "I just didn't think it would have any effect."
Iger's comments were the first from Disney since the images aired earlier this month on Al-Aqsa TV. At the time, Disney did not return phone calls seeking comment, a strategy Iger said the company strategically adopted.
"We simply made the decision that we would not either create or prolong a public discourse on the subject by making a loud public statement," he said.
Shares in Disney closed up 42 cents to $36.44 in trading on the New York
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