(PresidentialWire.com)- An heiress to the Disney empire premiered a documentary she co-directed that criticizes the pay gap among cast members at Disneyland.
Abigail E. Disney, the granddaughter of Roy O. Disney who co-founded the company with his brother Walt, premiered her documentary The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales at the Sundance Film Festival.
In a brief video shot by Sundance, Abigail talked about her connection to the Disney empire and how her grandfather treated Disney employees, not as “cogs in a machine,” but as partners.
She said she was inspired to make the documentary after a worker at Disneyland reached out to her about the pay issues at the Anaheim, California theme park where most cast members earn just over the minimum wage.
Meanwhile, the compensation package for Disney’s current CEO Bob Chapek more than doubled from $14.2 million in 2020 to $32.5 million in 2021. Former CEO Bob Iger also enjoyed a massive compensation of $45.9 million.
Recently, Disney faced a class-action lawsuit from 25,000 Disneyland cast members who demanded pay increases in accordance with local laws, however, the suit was dismissed by a judge in November.
The Disney heiress has been a vocal critic of how The Walt Disney Company is run, especially when it comes to executive compensation.
In response to Abigail Disney’s documentary, the company released a statement to multiple news outlets defending its pay policies.
In its statement, Disney said its top priority will always be the “well-being and aspirations” of its employees and cast members. It added that Disney’s compensation packages include “affordable” medical coverage.
Disney noted that in 2018 it increased the pay for most cast members at Florida’s Disney World to $15 an hour, and recently began paying cast members at Disneyland $17 an hour. It expects to raise that to $18 an hour by 2023. The company also said in its statement that it offers benefits to help staff advance in their careers.
Watch the Sundance interview with Abigail Disney HERE.