DES MOINES, IOWA — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced last Thursday that Marvel Entertainment's CEO Issac "Ike" Perlmutter and his wife, Laura, would give $1 million toward his fundraising efforts for veterans, sparking furious critics from comic book fans and Trump's critics alike.
Trump held a charity event for American military veterans on Thursday at Drake University in Iowa — the same night as the Megyn Kelly-moderated Republican presidential debate on Fox News. The 69-year-old GOP frontrunner reportedly boycotted the Fox debate, citing issues he had with the network and Kelly's "bias" against him. The event raised over $5 million.
Announcing the donation on Thursday, Trump called Perlmutter an "unbelievable man" and "one of the great, great men of our country in terms of business and talent." The 73-year-old billionaire is reportedly a very reclusive individual, with a reputation for being frugal, according to Birth Movies Death.
Speaking about the donation, a representative for Perlmutter told the Hollywood Reporter: "The Perlmutters are thrilled to support their friend Donald Trump in his efforts to help veterans."
Perlmutter's company, Toy Biz, helped rescue Marvel from bankruptcy in the 1990s, reported Vanity Fair, but later reportedly became notorious in Hollywood for his cost-saving approach to making films.
Many took to Twitter in response to the Marvel CEO's donation. Filmmaker Michael Moore wrote "Trump announces head of Marvel Comics has written a million-dollar check for tonight's event. Will think about that next time I buy a ticket." Others, such as Forbes contributor Janet Stemwedel, wondered why Marvel is supporting a super villain. Salon writer Matthew Rozsa even called for fans to hold "Marvel accountable for its Trumpism."
In September of 2015, news broke that Marvel Studios — Disney's billion-dollar blockbuster factory — had undergone a dramatic restructuring during which Perlmutter and the "Marvel creative committee" had been cut from the creative process, reported Vanity Fair, citing Birth Death Movies.
Probably the most famous of the alleged tales regarding Perlmutter's tightfistedness comes from a 2012 Financial Times article. There, sources claimed the executive switched Iron Man actor Terrence Howard for Don Cheadle in the sequel Iron Man 2 to save money. According to the Financial Times, he allegedly added words to the effect that no one would see the difference because black people look similar.