Abigail Disney, an heir to the Disney entertainment empire, continues taking the company to task for CEO Bob Iger’s $65.6 million compensation last year, which a study says was 1,424 times the median employee pay.
“I like Bob Iger. ... But by any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane,” Disney — a granddaughter of Roy Disney, who co-founded the entertainment giant with brother Walt Disney — wrote in a viral Twitter thread on Sunday.
Disney, a documentary filmmaker and activist, has been outspoken on the topic of income inequality, and has said she donated the vast majority of her inheritance.
Her tweets added to her criticism last week of Iger and the company at a conference hosted by Fast Company magazine, in which she said disproportionate executive compensation has “had a corrosive effect on society.” A study by research firm Equilar, which tracks compensation, found Iger made 1,424 times the amount of a median Disney employee, one of the biggest gaps among 100 companies surveyed.
“I like Bob Iger. Let me be very clear: I think he’s a good man. But I think he’s allowing himself to go down a road that is the road everyone is going down,” Disney said at the conference. “When he got his bonus last year, I did the math, and I figured out that he could have given personally, out of pocket, a 15% raise to everyone who worked at Disneyland, and still walked away with $10 million.
“So 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. There is such a thing.”
In response, the company said Friday that Iger’s compensation increased in part because of his leadership in Disney’s acquisition of Twenty-First Century Fox. The company also touted efforts to help workers.
“Disney has made historic investments to expand the earning potential and upward mobility of our workers, implementing a starting hourly wage of $15 at Disneyland that’s double the federal minimum wage, and committing up to $150 million for a groundbreaking education initiative that gives our hourly employees the opportunity to obtain a college or vocational degree completely free of charge,” the company said in its statement.
Abigail Disney, in her Twitter thread Sunday, characterized the company’s statement as “a dodge,” and showed how it could help its workers instead of lavishing hefty bonuses on executives.
“What difference would it make in the quality of life for those that gave up half their bonus? None. Zero. Maybe they can’t afford a third home. Or another boat. I’m not being facetious here. That’s the kind of sacrifice we’d be talking about for high level execs,” Disney wrote.
“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.”