Abigail Disney isn’t asking for a fairy tale ending for the thousands of people who work at the company her grandfather co-founded. But the Disney heiress thinks workers who clean bathrooms at the company’s theme parks, for instance, shouldn’t struggle when the guy at the top rakes in — in her view — an “insane” amount, or $65.6 million in executive compensation last year.
The granddaughter of Roy Disney questioned Disney CEO Bob Iger’s generous pay package at an event last Thursday, then followed up on her thinking in a series of tweets during the weekend. Saying she likes Iger and did not speak for other family members, Abigail Disney tweeted that “by any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane.”
Iger’s compensation is 1,424 times that of the median Walt Disney Co. worker, calculates Equilar, a provider of executive-compensation data. Separately, a study conducted last year by researchers at Occidental College and the Economic Roundtable found 1 in 10 Disneyland workers had recently been homeless, and two thirds
Walt Disney’s top executives could relinquish half their compensation and not see any impact on their standard of living, with the money better spent spread among the company’s more than 200,000 employees, Abigail Disney argued on social media.
“Anyone who contributes to the success of a profitable company and who works full time to do so should not go hungry, should not ration insulin and should not have to sleep in a car,” tweeted the activist and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker.
It’s not the first time the Disney heiress has advocated on behalf of lower-paid workers. A member of Patriotic Millionaires, an activist group that supports higher taxes on the rich, she voiced opposition to the GOP tax bill in a 2017 video. She more recently told New York magazine that she has given away about $70 million during the last 30 years, and that she is “hyperconscious about what wealth does to people.”
Walt Disney Co. defended Iger’s compensation as “90 percent performance-based,” with a spokesperson saying in an email the CEO had “delivered exceptional value for shareholders.” The company now pays a starting hourly wage atin Anaheim, California, and is investing in an educational program to help its workers, the spokesperson emailed.
Workers at the theme park had rallied last year for higher “living wage” of $20 an hour.
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