Tag Archives: ike perlmutter

Marvel Chairman’s Connection to Sedition and the Capitol Riots

Ike Perlmutter

The sedition and riots that happened at the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021, were a stain and dark day on American history. What was supposed to be an abnormal certification of the election victory for President-elect Joe Biden turned into an attempted coup by the outgoing President Trump.

The connections and who were behind the criminal act are still coming out but there were numerous groups and individuals who organized the seditious and deadly act.

One of those organizations behind the rally was Women for America First, which helped organize the “March to Save America”. The 501(c)(4) nonprofit is allowed to engage in limited political activities by the IRS and doesn’t have to publicly disclose their donors. But, we know of at least one of those donors.

America First Action is a political action committee chaired by Linda McMahon. The organization’s 2019 990 disclosure form showed they contributed $25,000 to Women for America First. American First Action is affiliated with America First Policies, a political organization started by Trump and Pence staffers.

McMahon is the wife of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon. Both are friends and allies of Trump, and Linda McMahon headed up the Small Business Administration. She resigned from that position in 2019 to assume her role as Chairwoman of America First Action.

A donor to America First Action is Isaac (Ike) Perlmutter and his wife Laura. Ike Perlmutter is the Chairman of Marvel. Together, the two donated $21 million in 2019-2020 over 4 donations. $15 million was donated on September 24 and $6 million on September 8. America First Action was founded in 2017 but 2020 was the first time either donated to the super PAC.

The Perlmutter donations happened after the 2019 donation to Women for America First but America First Action has yet to file a new 990 form since 2019. Who knows what might turn up in their next one. Women For America First’s donors are generally unknown. It’s near impossible to determine who directly donated to that organization and funded their failed coup which is why crumbs like this raise questions and concerns.

As of this article, in 2019 and 2020 the Perlmutters contributed 100 reported times to Republican candidates or organizations for a total of $26,067,600. That includes the maximum donation of $11,200 to Donald J. Trump for President, $1,871,200 to Trump Victory, and $1,207,000 to the Republican National Committee.

Perlmutter, like McMahon, also played a role in the Trump administration. He “advised” the Department of Veteran Affairs, which lead to attempts at investigations of his involvement. Questions remain concerning that position.

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Ghost Rider 2099 #1

It’s a new week and we’re getting ready for the holidays and end of year! While we get ready for our usual coverage, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

Esquire – Donald Trump Brought Reclusive Marvel Billionaire Ike Perlmutter Out of the Shadows – An interesting read though little that’s new.

BrickHeroes – 71026 LEGO DC Comics Collectible Minifigures Series: the distribution of characters in a box – For those interested in box breakdowns.

The Comichron – New Mutants #1 leads good November, with increases in units and dollars for comics and graphic novels; growth year certain – For those that enjoy the horse race.

Reviews

Monkeys Fighting Robots – Ghost Rider 2099 #1
Talking Comics – Mighty Morphin Power Rangers/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1

Art Spiegelman’s Essay Too Political for Marvel

Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 was to feature Art Spiegelman's essay

Marvel has refused to publish Art Spiegelman‘s essay due to a dig within it at President Trump where he calls him “Orange Skull Trump.”

Spiegelman, the creator of the graphic novel Maus, says he was asked to remove a dig at President Trump from an upcoming book by Marvel and Folio Society. Spiegelman was asked to write the introduction to Marvel: The Golden Age 1939–1949 which is out in September and was announced this past week.

Spiegelman’s essay touched upon how the young Jewish creators of the first superheroes created mythic, godlike, secular saviors to address the issues of the time such as the Great Depression and World War II. Spiegelman ended the essay with:

In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America.

That was too much for Marvel who said they were trying to stay “apolitical,” and “is not allowing its publications to take a political stance.”

Spiegelman says he was asked to remove the sentence about the Red Skull or the essay would not be published. He chose to pull the essay. Marvel editor Roy Thomas will instead be writing the introduction.

Marvel Entertainment chairman Isaac (Ike) Perlmutter is a longtime friend of Donald Trump, one of the largest donors to his Presidential campaign, and an advisor to the President on Veteran’s affairs.

(via The Guardian)

Veterans Affairs Stonewalls Congress Protecting Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter

Officials at Veterans Affairs are declining to give members of Congress documents related to the influence Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter has over the agency.

The issue is the influence that Perlmutter, primary care specialist Dr. Bruce Moskowitz, and attorney Marc Sherman have over veterans policy decisions by the Trump administration. None of the men hold government positions. All three are confidants of Trump and members of his Mar-a-Lago resort.

ProPublica ran a report in August that showed frequent contact between the men and top VA officials that included policy matters and personal favors.

VA Secretary Robert Wilkie has told lawmakers he met with the trio only once during a courtesy trip and they have had no role in crafting department policy. However, when House Democrats requested correspondence between the men and the VA in August, Wilkie refused. He cited “ongoing litigation alleging violations of the Federal Advisory Committee Act” making them “not appropriate for release at this time.”

That has to do with a lawsuit filed by VoteVets to block the trio from further contact with VA leadership concerning official matters.

Top ranking Democrat on the veterans’ House panel, Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz said Wilkie’s excuse was “unacceptable” and without legal merit.

Walz said:

We have received nothing from VA except excuses. The reports of corruption and cronyism are serious and we cannot allow VA to sweep this under the rug. This issue will remain a top concern of the committee until all our questions have been answered.

Walz has demanded that the documents are turned over by the end of the month.

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It’s July 4th and while we’ll be enjoying fireworks, beer, hot dogs, and burgers, it’s also new comic book day! What does that mean? Reviews! Our first runs in a bit, so while you wait, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web.

CBR – AMC Names Chris Hardwick’s Replacement For Walking Dead SDCC Panel – This is a good choice.

The Hollywood Reporter – Marvel’s Ike Perlmutter Sued for Allegedly Sending Court Filing to Hollywood Reporter – Ruh roh.

 

Reviews

ICv2 – The Best of Don Wilson of the Navy

Newsarama – Captain America #1

Comics Bulletin – Charlie’s Angels #1

Newsarama – The Death of the Inhumans #1

The Beat – The Winner

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bm66mww77_ch01-d_sfcoverIt’s new comic book day! What is everyone excited for? What do you plan on getting? Sound off in the comments below!

While you wait for shops to open, here’s some comic news and reviews from around the web in our morning roundup.

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The Beat – A year of free comics: Leaving Richard’s Valley by Michael DeForge, a very sinister place indeed – Free comics to read!

MauiTime Weekly – Want to support civil rights and a local Hawaii artist? Buy this print! – This is pretty awesome.

Newsarama – Ben Affleck Won’t Direct The Batman – Not a bad thing.

Nothing But Comics – Ike Perlmutter, Marvel Comics & The Muslim Ban – Thoughts?

The Beat – Help Wanted: IDW is hiring an editor – If you want to get into comics!

The Beat – RIP Dan Spiegle – Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

 

Around the Tubes Reviews

CBR – Batman ’66 Meets Wonder Woman ’77 #1

Newsarama – Planet of the Apes/Green Lantern #1

Marvel’s Ike Perlmutter is Joining Trump’s Veterans Affairs Team?!

isaac-perlmutter_416x416The New York Post is reporting that Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter will be joining President Elect Donald Trump‘s Veterans Affairs team. In what specific role is unknown.

Generally a recluse, Perlmutter has stepped out more in public since Trump’s election having been photographed recently (the last photo was from about 30 years ago). Perlmutter was the owner of Marvel before its purchase by Disney, which Perlmutter now has a large stake in as part of the deal.

According to the report, the 74-year-old executive has become a “key adviser on veterans’ health care.” This higher profile will force Perlmutter to come even more out of the shadows. It’s unknown how this will impact his role at Marvel or with Disney though it’s not uncommon for CEOs and high ranking executives to serve on advisory boards. According to the report, Perlmutter met with the CEOs of university-associated hospitals last week.

Perlmutter himself is a veteran having served as a soldier in Israel’s Six-Day War back in 1967.

Perlmutter’s wife, Laura, is on the presidential inaugural committee and are large donors to Republican candidates and causes.

We’re attempting to find out what type of healthcare packages have been provided to Marvel staff before the purchase by Disney though the comic industry as a whole has a poor record when it comes to providing healthcare to its freelancers.

Marvel’s Ike Perlmutter Helps Choose the Next Secretary of State?

isaac-perlmutter_416x416This Presidential election has been anything but normal so why should choosing the next Secretary of State be? The New York Post has reported that during President-Elect Donald Trump‘s Thanksgiving he was asking attendees who he should pick as his top diplomat. The three names thrown about were Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, or John Bolton.

Why do we care and are reporting on this?

Joining Trump at the Mar-a-Lago festivities was an interesting mix of individuals including Richard Nixon grandson Christopher Nixon Cox, Don King, Fabio, and Marvel Entertainment CEO Ike Perlmutter. If Trump was asking everyone as reported, that means Perlmutter got his say in who he thinks should be the next Secretary of State.

Perlmutter has been a Trump supporter and a Republican supporter in general. During the Presidential primary, Perlmutter’s name was thrown about by Trump as a supporter. Perlmutter himself rarely donates directly to campaigns, the last being $4,600 to Rudy Giuliani’s Presidential campaign in 2007 according to the Federal Election Commission. Perlmutter’s wife Laura also donated to Giuliani, $4,600 total in 2007 with $2,300 returned in 2008. Laura Perlmutter also donated $2,000,000 to Conservative Solutions PAC. The PAC supported Marco Rubio for President. The Perlmutters live in Florida where Rubio is Senator.

With the donations to Giuliani, I’m guessing that’s their pick… but with those dollars, maybe Rubio is the dark horse choice of the two?

Marvel Has a Trump Problem

This past week there was a bit of a shitstorm as Ike Perlmutter, the CEO of Marvel Comics, donated $1 million to Donald Trump‘s fundraiser “benefiting veterans,” but in reality funds flowed to the Donald J. Trump Foundation. That donation created calls for boycotts of the company, though the donation came from Perlmutter’s own money not the corporation and was to his charity not his campaign. Except, now that fundraiser is being used in stump speeches and as part of his campaign brand. Trump is also using Perlmutter’s name, Marvel’s brand, and the company’s success during his stump speech.

I’ve said this donation creates a perception problem from Marvel with their “progressive brand” being tied in with the racist misogynist Islamophobic Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump is being smart by tying himself to the Marvel brand, which judging by the box office, is viewed favorably currently.

This is from a campaign even in Waterloo, Iowa that happened today.

This is from a campaign rally on January 31 in Sioux City, Iowa.

Depending who you ask Trump has either is viewed unfavorably by 55% of individuals or 60%. Not an individual to be associated with.

It’s crisis time Marvel, especially if Trump moves on in the Presidential race. Expect this to be used even more by him.

donald_trump

On Boycotts and Marvel

isaac-perlmutter_416x416On Thursday, Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter was announced as one of the donors to Donald Trump‘s fundraiser to “benefit veterans.” I put that last bit in quotations since it’s unclear exactly where the money will be going other than the Donald J. Trump Foundation. During the event, Trump announced Perlmutter had donated $1 million to the cause.

Almost immediately individuals took to the internet voicing their displeasure feeling that Perlmutter’s donation and involvement with Trump was a tacit sign up support for the Republican Presidential Candidate/business man/celebrity’s policies and views which can only be summed up as racist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, misogynistic, and I can go on and on.

Calls for boycotts followed with individuals stating they would no longer watch films based on Marvel properties and/or purchase or read comics produced by the publisher. They also felt that Perlmutter’s donation was a slap in the face of the progressive changes the comic publisher has made in its publishing line, though the company still has far to go when it comes to those making the comics.

The reclusive Perlmutter has a history of “issues,” and this donation is only the latest. In 2012 it was reported that he is verbally abusive to staff, even threatening a female staffer that he had a “bullet with [her] name on it.” It was also reported that Perlmutter said no one would notice Terrance Howard being replaced in Iron Man 2 because blacks “look the same.” Though he donated $1 million to Trump’s cause, he’s also notoriously stingy in spending when it comes to his employees. And it’s not like he hasn’t been involved in politics in the past. His wife donated $2 million to Marco Rubio’s campaign (who has issues of his own), as well as contributing to Rudy Giuliani’s Presidential bid (again issues).

In other words, nothing of his behavior is new or shocking.

The reaction by creators, especially those that work for Marvel, has been mixed to the calls for boycotts and attacks directed towards Marvel. The responses have ranged from the claim that this donation was from Perlmutter not Marvel, to boycotts impacting creators and not him.

Those responses are disappointing to hear, especially from many who claim the “progressive” mantel. It diminishes someone else’s belief and action they want to take. It’s also ignores the reality of boycotts which have a very long history. They can be very successful and make change if they are sustained especially when mixed with other actions.

make-it-rain-dollarsBoycotts don’t work on their own. Mixed with the tarnishing of a brand, they can be an excellent way to make change and get a company to change a policy, staffing, or support over what’s disagreed with. In theory it would impact Perlmutter along with creators. If sales were to decrease you’d hope Marvel’s parent company Disney would look in to WHY sales have dipped and make adjustments, ie remove Perlmutter as CEO. That’s the logic behind a boycott. The reality of this happening with just a boycott is slim as Disney needs to connect the decrease in sales with the reason for the decrease. As a whole the brand needs to be attacked, not just avoiding their product and output. This action does work though.

The second part of the strawman argument is that Perlmutter’s money is not Marvel’s or that this would only impact creators. Perlmutter earned roughly $1.5 billion from the sale of Marvel to Disney in 2009. I’d assume as CEO he still earns a paycheck and benefits in his role, and as CEO he directly influences the company. I can attest in my experience in the business world, a CEO’s worldview directly impacts the attitude of the company they run in direction, goals, and how employees are treated. I went from working in a company whose corporate culture shifted after a new CEO was installed to a new company where the CEO implements policies that reflect its liberal/progressive leanings (in this case increased parental leave for both parents). The CEO sets the standard, and while I don’t know Perlmutter’s day to day involvement, anecdotally it sounds like he has a lot. While Marvel touts its diversity in the characters and comics it produces, behind the scenes that’s not necessarily the case. Perlmutter himself may be the reason its taken so long for a woman to headline a Marvel film. The fact remains, he has made his money from, and continues to earn from, Marvel. The goal of a boycott would be to change that, and unfortunately would impact creators too.

But, I have to ask, is working for Marvel worth working for this man?

proudliberalstarsbuttonthumbFor those who wear their progressive badge and do, they have made a choice, just as they ignore past abuses of creators by the company. This aren’t issues that creators face just at Marvel. Other publishers regularly have taken, or take, advantage of creators. I have been told by those working in the industry of moves by publishers that borderline on illegal in how staff are treated, and those actions very well may be. I haven’t reported on them due to the lack of corroborating evidence. There is no truly progressive comic company that I know of that pays a liveable wage (or more) to all staff, profit shares with creators, provides healthcare, good benefits, the list goes on. As fans who purchase comics, we not just make this compromise in the beliefs we hold dear, but we also make those choices and compromises in everything we do. We are all hypocritical in some way.

But, that hypocrisy gives creators no right to condemn one’s choice and decision to boycott. It is an individual’s choice in how they want their voice heard and the actions they want to take. It is their decision. In this case their way is to speak with their wallet.

I in no way condemn one’s decision in a boycott (I encourage it as action unto itself), just like we should not have been condemned for our past calls (it’s funny how censorship hasn’t come up in this case, but that’s a discussion about hypocrisy for another day).

Laura Sneddon said it best on Twitter.

Plenty of great folk work for Marvel. There are plenty of legit reasons to boycott Marvel. The former does not negate the latter.

Everyone has to make a living. If the folks you work for do something seen as immoral you either change job or take the hit.

Happens to us all at some point. Them’s the breaks.

But don’t guilt trip those making an ethical stand.

So Marvel’s CEO used his ~personal~ money. So it’s Trump rather than an anti-gay/women/whatever charity. People have the right to boycott.

And they have the expectation not to be shamed, judged or guilt tripped by comic creators. Especially those who self-label as progressive.

I have companies and individuals that I choose not to support with my money and I spend it elsewhere. It’s neat how that works.

Similarly I’m veg*n AND understand that doesn’t help individual animals or hurt profits. But it doesn’t /help/ the practises I oppose.

Everyone draws their lines in different places according to their own moral compass and means. That’s all that really needs said in fact.

I’ve been struggling with what “action” I want to take, and think I have made my choice (more to come with that). But agree or disagree with what an individual chooses to do, it is their choice, it is their empowerment.

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