Disneyland calls itself “The Happiest Place on Earth,” but family heiress Abigail Disney said she found workers struggling when she recently visited the park undercover.
The Walt Disney Co. strongly disputed allegations from family heiress Abigail Disney, who said she found workers struggling when she recently visited Disneyland.
As an heiress to the Disney fortune, anything Abigail Disney says about the brand beloved by millions worldwide garners attention. And she’s calling out Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger for his nearly $66 million yearly salary, saying he isn’t doing enough to rectify the huge gap between his own earnings and that of other Disney workers.
The interview followed the undercover visit, which left her “so livid” that the company didn’t respect its workers enough.
“Bob needs to understand that he is an employee just the same as the people scrubbing gum off the sidewalk are employees, and they’re entitled to the same dignity and human rights that he is,” Abigail Disney said.
She said she emailed Iger about her concerns recently but received no response. To understand the grievances of Walt Disney Co. employees, Abigail Disney said she went to Disneyland after receiving a Facebook message from a distressed worker.
“I went to Anaheim, and I wanted to be sure I understood the situation and the context really, really well,” Disney said.
She said what she found at “The Happiest Place on Earth” was a façade that was about to crack from the pressure of making ends meet.
“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 recalled, adding that this was not the work environment her grandfather Roy O. Disney sought out to create.
“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.