Granddaughter of The Walt Disney Company’s co-founder, Roy Disney (Walt’s older brother), recently went undercover to Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., after an employee sent her a disheartening Facebook message against the company.
Abigail Disney appeared on Monday’s episode of the Yahoo News podcast “Through Her Eyes” and said every employee she met on her visit said low wages make daily life difficult.
“Every single one of these people I talked to were saying. ‘I don’t know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people’s garbage,’” she said.
Although Disney is not involved in the company herself, she said the working conditions for employees do not reflect her grandfather’s values. “I was so livid when I came out of there because, you know, my grandfather taught me to revere these people that take your tickets, that pour your soda,” she continued.
Disney said the company’s current CEO, Robert Iger, should respect every one of his workers, no matter their position. “Bob needs to understand he’s an employee, just the same as the people scrubbing gum off the sidewalk are employees,” Disney expressed. “And they’re entitled to all the same dignity and human rights that he is.” Iger reportedly makes $66 million a year.
The heiress told Yahoo News she typed “a very long email” to Iger suggesting that he think more about how his legacy will affect the world. “[O]ne of the things I said to him was, ‘You know, you’re a great CEO by any measure, perhaps even the greatest CEO in the country right now,’ ” she said. ” ‘You know, your legacy is that you’re a great manager. And if I were you, I would want something better than that. I would want to be known as the guy who led to a better place because that is what you have the power to do.’”
However, according to Abigail, Iger never responded.
Disney said the issues at the theme park reveal a systemic problem. “The system is the problem, and the people inside of the system who are perfectly comfortable with the system are the problem,” Disney said on the podcast. “I don’t think any president of the United States has as much power as some CEOs in this country.”
In response, the Walt Disney Company provided a statement to USA Today, outlining company programs that support employees. According to the publication, the company cited Disney Aspire, an education initiative, as an example. It covers 100 percent of all tuition costs, books, and fees for workers.
The company also offers flexible schedules and subsidized childcare. The Walt Disney Company has committed $150 million to Disney Aspire for its first five years, with additional investments expected, according to a company spokesperson.
Where are the Disney employees at in the Baller Nation?👀 What are your thoughts on employee wages at Disney?