According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney has released the 2021 salaries of CEO Bob Chapek and ex Chairman of the Board Bob Iger and they were more than double their salaries of 2020.
Some will argue that the mandatory pay cuts due to the pandemic and the closure of the parks were the cause. They are the cause. However, these people learned nothing and after everything became open again they started doing what they do best–bilking the customer and pocketing the money. Meanwhile Abigail Disney has a documentary coming out at the Sundance Film Festival about how the Disney employees are treated.
First, let’s take a look at the compensation given to both Bob Chapek and Bob Iger.
The SEC filing that Disney posted indicated that Bob Chapek was given a compensation package of over $32.46 million. In 2020 he was given $14.1 million. Compared to Iger’s compensation package $45.9 million in 2021, and $21 million in the previous fiscal year. The Hollywood Reporter points out that “Iger’s end-of-contract stock grant, which was awarded to him Dec. 31 and was in the nine figures.”
When the parks shut down in 2020, and the pandemic loomed, the Walt Disney Company laid off a bunch of people and gave executives pay cuts (which some complained about.) Then the company switched to the “direct-to-consumer” model to focus on Disney Plus.
However, when parks came back on line, Disney guests were met with very limited experience at full price and price hikes along the way. The Annual Passes at Disneyland were changed and certain pass sales were halted. Food prices just went up recently and CFO Christine McCarthy joked about cutting portion sizes so the company could hoist off the inflation onto the guest (with big waistlines.)
Disney+ also had it’s price increased last year in the United States, while other countries still enjoy pennies on the dollar pricing.
During the pandemic, while executives kept their jobs, but got paid less, Cast Members were laid off or furloughed and had to create food pantries to help each other out. In Florida the lines stretched for miles. Now Abigail Disney has done a documentary with director Kathleen Hughes called The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales.
The new documentary focuses on the issues facing Cast Members as wage gaps continue to grow. In no way does anyone think Cast Members should make what a CEO does, but I don’t think Bob Iger deserved a nine-figure retirement package after his overspending and overbuying did hurt the company when the pandemic hit.
Abigail Disney talks about how she was taught by her Grandfather to treat Cast Members stating:
“I would go [to Disneyland] with my grandfather and almost every time, he would pick up a piece of garbage. I asked him why he did that, and he said, “Because nobody’s too good to pick up a piece of garbage, and I want the people who work here to know that I know that.” He would tell me, “These people work so hard, you need to respect them.” So to have been raised that way, and then to find myself years later listening to them say they have to choose between insulin and food, I couldn’t just sit by and let it happen.”
Disney isn’t too keen on Bob Chapek being the new CEO and expects things to get worse.
She talked about the cuts Chapek made before he got put into the head of the company and how it negatively impacted Cast Members:
“…dynamic scheduling, a euphemism for jerking them around so they can’t get a second job and they never make 40 hours a week and they don’t qualify for health care. Taking a department of 250, shaving it to 200 and expecting them all to do the same work in the same amount of time. There are a thousand ways they’ve been cutting costs, and much of it came from Bob Chapek and under his command.”
More and more Disney parks fans are turning against the company over it’s constant price hikes, and choices. For $6k LARPing experiences, telling people that they should pay full price for a lightsaber without the carrying case promised, and many more other things.
The Disney difference means something completely different now than it did even five or six years ago. Magic comes with a price, but it seems only the Cast Members and guests are paying that price. People are noticing.
There’s some data you can crunch Bob!
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.