- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Filmmaker and activist Abigail Disney — granddaughter of Walt Disney. Co. co-founder Roy Disney — has launched a fierce attack on the Hollywood giant for protecting dividends while furloughing more than 100,000 workers across its theme parks.
Responding on Twitter to news of the furloughs, the Disney heir said that $1.5 billion — which is the estimated cost of Disney’s prior semi-annual dividends — would “pay for three months’ salary to front line workers,” adding that it was instead going to “people who have already been collecting egregious bonuses for years.” The studio hasn’t yet announced its dividends for 2020.
Disney said: “Dividends aren’t all bad, given the number of fixed income folks who rely on them. But still 80 percent of shares are owned by the wealthiest 10 percent. So that excuse only goes so far.”
OK, I’ve been holding my tongue on the theory that a pandemic is no time to be calling people out on anything other than failing us in a public health sense. I thought it might be a moment for peace and reconciliation. But I feel a thread coming on….1/ https://t.co/G1mUq7RmAV
— Abigail Disney (@abigaildisney) April 21, 2020
While the studio’s top executives have made salary sacrifices amid the COVID-19 crisis, with executive chairman Bob Iger giving up the remainder of his $3 million salary for 2020 and new CEO Bob Chapek set to forgo half his $2.5 million base salary, Abigail Disney said that salary was a “drop in the bucket to these guys,” claiming that the “real payday is in the rest of the package.”
Disney referenced a quote by Chapek, who said, “Our ability to do good in the world starts with our cast members, who create magic every day. Our commitment to them will always be our top priority.”
“If even a whiff of this is sincere, none of this compensation bullshit is possible,” she said. “This company must do better. Disney faces a rough couple of years, to be sure. The challenges are existential, even. But that does not constitute permission to continue pillaging and rampaging by management.”
The Hollywood Reporter understands that around 90 percent of CEO pay is performance-based.
The latest comments are the first time Abigail Disney has attacked the pay structure at Disney after last year describing Iger’s $65.6 million compensation for fiscal year 2018, up 80 percent from 2017, as “insane,” pointing out that he could have personally given everyone who worked at Disneyland a 15 percent raise and “still walked away with $10 million.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day