Disney heiress Abigail slams media giant for paying massive executive bonuses while furloughing 100,000 workers

Earlier this month, the Walt Disney Co. announced that it is furloughing those employees "whose jobs aren't necessary at this time"


                            Disney heiress Abigail slams media giant for paying massive executive bonuses while furloughing 100,000 workers
Abigail Disney (Getty Images)

Abigail Disney was left speechless after she learned that the Walt Disney Co. had decided to furlough hundreds of thousands of low-wage workers while paying its executives millions of dollars in compensation.

"WHAT THE ACTUAL F***?????" the granddaughter of Walt Disney's brother Roy Disney tweeted. The outspoken family heiress railed against the media giant in a Twitter thread Tuesday after its decision to furlough theme park employees, especially after the company shelled out huge dividends to shareholders and lavished executives with massive bonuses, CNN Business reports.

However, Disney is yet to reveal its dividend plans for 2020. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 lockdown has resulted in substantial pay cuts for the company's top executives.

In this handout photo provided by Disney Parks, Mickey Mouse and his friends celebrate the 60th anniversary of Disneyland park during a ceremony at Sleeping Beauty Castle featuring Academy Award-winning composer, Richard Sherman, and Broadway actress and singer Ashley Brown July 17, 2015, in Anaheim, California. (Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the Walt Disney Co. announced that it is furloughing those employees "whose jobs aren't necessary at this time."

A major chunk of Disney's businesses and affiliates have temporarily suspended operations amid the coronavirus pandemic. This includes their sprawling theme parks, resorts, and entertainment productions. According to the report, more than 75% of the company's close to 223,000 employees work for the Parks and Products division.

In 2018, tens of thousands of park workers came together to fight for a $15-an-hour minimum wage, which they ultimately won.

However, Abigail Disney, who has been a vocal critic of oversized compensation for executives -- especially at Disney -- accused the company of filling the pockets of bosses who have been "collecting egregious bonuses for years" while failing to care for its low-income workers.

The heiress has previously called Disney CEO Bob Iger's compensation "insane," before he stepped down in February this year and was replaced by Bob Chapek. That said, Iger still retains his position as chairman of Disney.

The report noted that Iger made a staggering $47,525,560 last year--a whopping 911 times more than the median worker's pay. Abigail has now asked Chapek and Iger to reconsider their pay and return a part of their compensation to the company.

The Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger arrives for the World Premiere of "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker", the highly anticipated conclusion of the Skywalker saga on December 16, 2019, in Hollywood, California. (Getty Images)

"What kind of person is comfortable with this??? she tweeted. "Disney faces a rough couple of years, to be sure. But that does not constitute permission to continue pillaging and rampaging by management."

"Now no one could have foreseen this crisis. That is an absolutely fair thing to say," she continued. "But anyone could have anticipated some crisis. That's one of the things responsible managers do. And good, solid, competent management is why they get the 'big bucks' we are told. But those buybacks are beginning to look pretty self-indulgent right now."

However, Chapek has taken a 50% pay cut and Iger announced he would forgo all of his salary during the pandemic.

Abigail Disney does not have a role within the company as yet, but has previously slammed the entertainment giant for worker conditions at Disneyland as well as their pay.

"I'm just a citizen who cares and I think that makes me free to say what I believe," she said Tuesday. "But I am an heir. And I do carry this name with me everywhere. And I have a conscience which makes it very difficult for me to sit by when I see abuses taking place with that name attached to them."

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