Abigail Disney Calls Bob Iger’s Compensation ‘Insane’

Granddaughter of Disney co-founder says Disney CEO is “allowing himself to go down a road that is the road everyone is going down”

Abigail Disney Level Forward
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Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney co-founder Roy O. Disney and daughter of longtime Disney executive Roy E. Disney, believes that the compensation of Disney CEO Bob Iger is “insane,” according to a report from Fast Company.

Disney made the assessment at the inaugural Fast Company Impact Council on Thursday, noting, “I like Bob Iger. Let me be very clear. I think he’s a good man.” Nonetheless, she noted, “I think he’s allowing himself to go down a road that is the road everyone is going down.”

According to Fast Company, Iger’s compensation grew by 80% in 2018 to $65.6 million. Citing an Equilar study, the outlet said that Iger’s compensation was 1,424 times that of the median Disney employee.

In a statement to Fast Company, a Disney spokesperson 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.”

Nonetheless, on Sunday, Disney reiterated her assessment of Iger’s compensation — and offered a lengthy reflection on wages.

“Let me very clear. I like Bob Iger. I do NOT speak for my family but only for myself,” Disney wrote on her unverified Twitter account. “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.”

Disney continued, “To brush aside criticism of the low wage you pay workers at the company by saying you pay more than the Federal Minimum Wage and that you provide opportunities for education is a dodge. We all know the Federal Minimum is too low to live on. So why must we, at a company that’s … More profitable than it’s ever been, be paying anything so close to least the law allows at all??? Pointing out the incongruity of pay at the top and pay at the bottom provokes a reaction because it so violates of our innate sense of fairness it is impossible not to wince.”

Disney also added that she doesn’t believe Iger “doesn’t deserve a bonus,” but wondered what would be wrong with shifting some profits “to some folks other than those at the top?”

“What on earth would be wrong with shifting some of the profits–the fruits of these employees’ labor– to some folks other than those at the top?” Disney added. “I’m not saying Iger doesn’t deserve a bonus. He most certainly does. He is brilliant and has led the company brilliantly.”

Disney went on to reflect at length, in multiple tweets, about wages, particularly for workers who are just starting out.

“While I’m at it can I just add one more thing? The other rationale often offered for the rock bottom wages of many of their workers is that it’s a ‘starter job’ like flipping burgers at MacDonald’s,” Disney wrote. “I suppose if everyone who is graduating college has cushy middle class parents who can supplement their income and offer them healthcare and a place to live this would be a consideration. But of course we know that that’s not the case for many people finishing college.”

Read some of Disney’s tweets below — and even more of them here.