Bernie Sanders, the Democratic senator from Vermont and presidential candidate, on Monday said the Walt Disney Co. should use profits from box office hit franchise Avengers, whose latest installment, Avengers: Endgame, brought in $1.2 billion worldwide in a record-breaking opening weekend, to pay all its employees “a middle-class wage.”
“What would be truly heroic is if Disney used its profits from Avengers to pay all of its workers a middle-class wage, instead of paying its CEO Bob Iger $65.6 million — over 1,400 times as much as the average worker at Disney makes,” Sanders tweeted, linking to a Bloomberg News story about the entertainment conglomerate’s stock rising after the film’s opening.
Sanders has regularly criticized Disney, in the summer lauding unionized Walt Disney World Resort workers after they got a $15 minimum wage in negotiations with the Hollywood giant.
Roy Disney’s granddaughter Abigail earlier this month said Disney chairman and CEO Iger’s compensation “is insane” and called on the company to shift “some of the profits” to rank-and-file employees. “There’s a point at which there’s just too much going around the top of the system into this class of people who — I’m sorry this is radical — have too much money,” she argued.
Disney in March said it amended Iger’s total possible annual compensation by as much as $13.5 million. His annual base salary was updated to fall by $500,000 to $3 million, and the company eliminated an annual $8 million increase in the CEO’s annual target bonus.