Abigail Disney calls Bob Iger’s $65 mn compensation ‘insane’


LOS ANGELES, Apr 22: Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy Oliver Disney, has termed studio chairman-CEO Bob Iger earning a whopping USD 65.6 million as total compensation for last fiscal year as “insane”.

The filmmaker-philanthropist pointed out that this level of corporate payout has a “corrosive effect on society”.

She was speaking at the Fast Company Impact Council.

Abigail said the Disneyland employees in Anaheim, California have experienced a reduction in benefits over time. In many cases, they are struggling to pay for essential needs like medicine, she added.

Citing Wall Street-driven norms, she said Iger is a “good man” but he is “allowing himself to go down a road that is the road everyone is going down”.

“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 per cent raise to everyone who worked at Disneyland, and still walked away with USD 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,” Abigail said.

She later took to social media to reemphasise her point in a detailed thread on Twitter.

The filmmaker-activist said the comments made by her were not her family’s stand on the compensation.

“Let me very clear. I like Bob Iger. I do not speak for my family but only for myself. Other than owning shares (not that many) I have no more say in what happens there than anyone else. But by any objective measure a pay ratio over a thousand is insane,” Abigail wrote.

She, however, said it is not that Iger does not deserve a bonus.

“He most certainly does. He is brilliant and has led the company brilliantly. It’s nice to give a bonus to a person pulling down a salary. Everybody loves that. You know what everybody loves more than that? A raise. And if the tax cut makes a bonus possible and that tax cut is permanent doesn’t it stand to reason you could have given a raise instead?” Abigail asked.

She ended her thread with a call to action to recognise the threat of income and wealth inequality.

“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.”

This is not the first instance Disney has spoken out to raise the living wage and tax the wealthy.

She has urged companies to do a better job, recently appearing on CNBC stating, “I can’t sit back and accumulate wealth simply because I inherited it.” (PTI)