Abigail Disney, granddaughter of Walt Disney Co. co-founder Roy O. Disney, continued her attacks on her namesake company in a fusillade of tweets Thursday warning that “layoffs are coming.”
The 24-part attack centered on what she called the “greed-is-good” ethos of American corporations, including Disney, a matter of considerably more urgency during COVID-19 and the resulting economic downturn.
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The tweetstorm began with a re-tweet of a New York Times story about a study of executive compensation across 3,000 public companies. The article concluded that top executives generally sacrificed little during the crisis even as average workers suffered. Iger, the Times reported, took a salary cut of more than $2 million, but that amounted to only about 3% of his 2019 pay. Along with Disney, that pattern held true for two-thirds of the companies surveyed.
“Disney furloughed its workers because they intend to lay many of them off, but they didn’t want the bad publicity that would come with layoffs, so they chose to take the heat of two medium-sized PR hits, instead of one great big one,” Abigail Disney wrote. “Wait for it. Layoffs are coming. I don’t expect Disney to pay people who don’t work for them, nor do I expect them to employ people in excess of what they can afford.”
She made two specific complaints about the management of the Walt Disney Co. The first was that the company spent “the last two decades prioritizing ‘efficiency and productivity’ in the form of smaller staffs doing the same amount of work.” And the second was that “when they furloughed workers who were already living close to the bone, they shifted the moral burden of caring enough about those who mutually create profits with them onto the state and therefore the tax payers.”
Disney and other companies, she went on, “are asking us to pick up the tab for their years of whittling away at the dignity of the American worker so that they could transfer all that value WAY upstream to people like me.”
Reprising earlier attacks on income inequality, Disney posed a rhetorical question: “Did you see how quickly the lines formed at the food banks? I wonder if any CEO would live for a day, a week, a month as one of own workers, just to find out?”
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