Heiress Abigail Disney slams company for furloughing workers
- Abigail Disney criticised the company founded by her great-uncle, Walt Disney, for fourloughing 43,000 employees while the coronavirus pandemic keeps its theme parks closed.
- Disney slammed the company's decision to furlough employees without first canceling plans to pay shareholder bonuses and executive bonuses in a 25-tweet thread Tuesday night
- Top executives have taken pay cuts to conserve the company's cash during the crisis, but their potential to still earn bonuses is "the REAL outrage," Disney tweeted.
- Disney has been outspoken about her concern over the US' growing income inequality, repeatedly critisised Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger's pay package.
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Disney executives may have taken pay cuts last month as the coronavirus crisis forced the company to close its theme parks, but they're still getting paid too much, according to one member of the Disney family.
In a 25-tweet thread Tuesday night, Abigail Disney slammed the company's decision to furlough 43,000 employees from its theme parks without first canceling plans to pay dividends and executive bonuses.
"This is why I was quiet in March when executives at the company made a big pr push to Call attention to the fact that they were giving up a portion of their salaries for the year," Disney tweeted. "I told people to wait until we heard about the rest of the compensation package, since salary is a drop in the bucket to these guys. The real payday is in the rest of the package."
WHAT THE ACTUAL F***????? Look, dividends aren't ALL bad, given the number of fixed income folks who rely on them. But still 80% of shares are owned by the wealthiest 10%. So that excuse only goes so far. But the REAL outrage is, of course, those bonuses...2/— Abigail Disney (@abigaildisney) April 21, 2020
Company executives aren't guaranteed the full bonuses Disney cited, however. The Financial Times article she quoted says that CEO Bob Chapek has the potential to receive a bonus equal to 300% of his salary, but isn't guaranteed it. Bonuses are largely performance-based and unlikely to be paid out in full as the company's share price has fallen 28% since the start of the year. All of Disney's theme parks in the U.S. have been closed since March, costing it $1.5 billion (R28 billion) in revenue per month, Business Insider's Ashley Rodriguez reported.
Top Disney executives have taken some pay cuts to help the company conserve cash amid the crisis. Still, Chapek is earning far more than most furloughed park employees, according to The Financial Times. Florida's unemployment benefits are some of the country's lowest, The Times reported.
Disney, who is also an award-winning filmmaker, has long been an outspoken critic of the eponymous company founded by her grandfather Roy Disney and great-uncle Walt Disney. In 2019, the heiress made headlines by attacking the salary of then-CEO and current Executive Chairman Bob Iger and co-signing a letter with 18 other ultra-wealthy Americans that advocated for a moderate wealth tax. Disney said in July that she has a $120 million (R2 billion) fortune, inherited from her father.
The Walt Disney Company is one of countless organisations furloughing workers amid the coronavirus pandemic. Disney World furloughed 43,000 employees whose "whose jobs aren't necessary at this time," starting April 19. Across the nation, an unprecedented 22 million workers have filed for unemployment benefits in the past four weeks alone amid the pandemic that has killed more than 44,000 Americans.
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