Abigail Disney, the great niece of the famous animator Walt Disney, has added her voice to those who criticize the excessive salaries paid to the CEOs of companies, including Disney CEO Bob Iger. His salary is 1,424 times the median salary of a Disney employee. It is interesting that she too uses the term ‘neoliberal’ as a pejorative, something that I wholeheartedly endorse.
Disney, 59, made headlines after branding Iger’s near-$66m pay packet “insane”. In an interview with the Guardian, she was unrepentant, describing some of the Walt Disney Company’s financial pledges to employees as “neoliberal claptrap” and calling for Iger to renounce his extraordinary compensation.
“They say they pay more than the federal minimum wage. But they know [$15 an hour] is not a living wage in Anaheim,” Disney said, referring to the southern California city where Disneyland is located.
“Then they go on to say that they offer education and upward mobility – and that’s neoliberal claptrap,” Disney said. She added that the company’s response implied people’s current jobs were not being valued.
Abigail Disney, who has shares in the company, has benefited from that rise. She described Iger as a “brilliant man”, who “deserves to be rewarded well”.
“I also think he’s a good man,” she said.
But does that justify his $65.6m pay packet?
“No one on this freaking planet is worth that kind of money,” she said.
Disney, the great-niece of Walt Disney, also derided Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, for his treatment of low-paid Amazon workers, in a wide-ranging conversation about the state of big business.
Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren have repeatedly attacked these companies for not passing at least some of their immense profits to their employees, instead of purely into executive compensation and shareholder rewards.