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23 Apr, 2019 11:03

Disney heiress calls CEO Bob Iger’s $65 million compensation ‘insane’

Disney heiress calls CEO Bob Iger’s $65 million compensation ‘insane’

Abigail Disney, granddaughter of a Walt Disney Company co-founder, has spoken out against income inequality, saying the company makes so much money that it has no excuse not to give lowest-paid employees significant pay raises.

She said it is outrageous that the company’s chief executive Bob Iger was paid 1,424 times more than the average pay for a Disney employee last year. Iger’s 2018 pay package increased by 80 percent from $36.3 million in 2017.

Talking about the $65.6 million (£50.5 million) paid to the CEO, the granddaughter of Roy Disney said that by “any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane.”

“When [Iger] 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,” she said. “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 explained that she had nothing against Iger and that he had “led the company brilliantly.”  However, a pay cut for him — and other super-wealthy executives — would hardly be felt, she argued.

“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,” Abigail Disney said in a tweet.

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The company said the increase in Iger’s 2018 pay was due to share grants connected with Disney’s acquisition of 21st Century Fox.

Last year, the company signed a deal with unions that would hike the minimum wage for Walt Disney World Resort workers to $15 an hour by 2021. Disneyland workers making minimum wage were given a raise to $15 an hour at the start of this year.

Abigail Disney argued it was not enough for the company to commit to paying double the minimum wage. “We all know the federal minimum is too low to live on,” she said, adding “So why must we, at a company that’s more profitable than it’s ever been, be paying anything so close to the least the law allows?”

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A raise, she said, would dramatically improve the living standards of workers while having little to no impact on top earners.

An Emmy award-winning film-maker, Abigail Disney is a member of the activist organization Patriotic Millionaires, which is calling for higher taxes on the wealthy.

She claims to have given away $70 million since she turned 21. In an interview with The Cut, Abigail Disney said that if it were up to her, “I would pass a law against private jets, because they enable you to get around a certain reality.”

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