Abigail Disney has called Bob Iger’s $65million salary and bonus package ‘insane’ when compared to the much lower wages of thousands of other Disney workers.
Abigail, who has famously given away most of the fortune left to her by her family, made the comments on Thursday at the Fast Company Impact Council after it emerged that Iger pocketed more than 1,400 times what the average Disney worker made in 2018.
Between his salary and bonus, he took home $65.6million comprised of a $18million cash bonus, $2.9million in salary, $8.3million in options and $35million in stocks.
It represented an increase on his compensation from the previous year of 80 percent.
Speaking on Thursday, Abigail (who is Roy Disney’s granddaughter) said the amount made no sense when it could have been divided up.
‘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 percent 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,’ she said.
Abigail Disney called Disney CEO Bob Iger’s $65million pay check last year ‘insane’ and called for the company to distribute its wealth more fairly among lower-paid workers
She repeated her thoughts on Twitter afterwards, saying that the bonus meant nothing to Iger, who already lives a lifestyle that most can only dream about, but that a slight boost to the thousands of other employees in the company could have genuinely improved their standard of living.
‘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 he kind of sacrifice we’d be talking about for high level execs,’ she said.
She took aim at the company’s excuse that it had poured money into an education initiative for its staff.
‘A full time worker—at any job— should be able to afford medicine food housing transportation child care and education.
‘At a minimum! Do not insult them by implying they are not trying hard enough.
‘If you need beds changed and towels washed, and you are unwilling to do so yourself, at least respect the dignity of those you pay in your stead to do so.
‘If what they do is necessary to conducting your business successfully, then they deserve to be paid what they need to conduct their lives successfully.
‘Because they are contributing something,’ she fumed.
Abigail has given away tens of millions dollars since she inherited it as a child.
Disney went on a Twitter rant about it afterwards where she said Iger would never have missed the money but it could have represented real change for others
Abigail is the great niece of Walt Disney. Her grandfather was long-serving executive Roy Disney, Walt’s brother. She is shown, second from left, with her parents and siblings, as a child. Now 59, she has given away more than $70million
She told recently in an interview how she took a different view of wealth from her parents and that she realized once while flying alone on a 737 jumbo jet how wasteful they were being.
‘My dad’s plane was a 737, and it was insane to have a 737 as a private airplane. It had a queen-sized bed with one big long seatbelt across it, and a shower, and it was ridiculous.’
She stopped flying on it after a journey in the 1990s when she had it summoned to take her across the country for work.
She was on it alone.
‘I was sitting there thinking about the carbon footprint and the number of flight attendants and the other pilot on-call and what it was costing, and I just wanted to be sick,’ she said.
‘If I were queen of the world, I would pass a law against private jets, because they enable you to get around a certain reality.
‘You don’t have to go through an airport terminal, you don’t have to interact, you don’t have to be patient, you don’t have to be uncomfortable. These are the things that remind us we’re human,’ she said.
‘It’s fundamental to remember that you’re just a member of the human race, like everybody else, and there’s nothing about your money that makes you better than anyone else.
‘If you don’t know that and you have money, it’s the road to hell, no matter how much stuff you have around you,’ she told The Cut.
After news of Iger’s paypacket emerged last year, Disney agreed to reduce it next year.
The bulk of his money in 2018 came from stock awards he got through the 20th Century Fox deal.
In response to Abigail’s criticism, a Disney spokesman said: ‘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.’