Having the last name of Disney and actually being related to the guy that made the magic come alive so long ago carries a pretty big burden, and a huge opportunity to try and set things right. Unfortunately as Zak Wojnar of Screenrant reminds us, Abigail Disney doesn’t have a place in the company, though being an heir to the Disney name is still a huge matter of importance and she’s not taking it lightly. The big to-do right now is actually something that the Mouse House could have taken care of earlier on had they been quicker off the ball and decided to be decent folks rather than conducting business as usual. It might sound like a bunch of griping but those at a certain level in the corporation have a certain responsibility to their people, the employees that make it possible for the theme parks to run and to operate under capacity when it’s allowed, and right now those same employees, a lot of them at least, are having to go without pay and seek assistance from the government apparently. While those that qualify for healthcare still have it, the millions upon millions that have gone to executives in bonuses and compensation due them thanks to their standing in the company could stand to be allocated to the employees that are in such desperate need of it, but as Abigail’s tweets indicate that doesn’t appear to be something that they’re willing to budge on. It’s been said that Bob Iger has actually given up the three million dollar salary he would have made for the 2020, which seems magnanimous, but considering that he still pulls down tens of millions a year it’s hard to feel too warm and fuzzy about it.
Unfortunately it’s not likely that Disney is the only corporation to be pulling this kind of tactic since in many businesses those at the top of the ladder are able to watch the crap hit the fan and filter down to those below them when something like the coronavirus (a setback or unforeseen disaster) comes along. Those that are financially set don’t need to worry about much since they’re fairly comfortable and will have everything they need to take care of themselves and their families when the disaster strikes, while those that are lower down on the ladder tend to be out of luck if they have nothing else to fall back on. Some might say that’s business, it’s the way of life, so on and so forth, but for a company such a Disney, which measures its net worth in the billions and its employees in the hundreds of thousands, this is kind of pitiful really. Something should be able to be done in order to help those that are constantly making it possible for the parks and the studios to run. In taking care of them Disney would be taking care of their bottom line and their most valuable assets, the people they rely on to keep their various properties running. Instead of a handful of individuals making the greatest amount of profit, and that’s hard to argue with since some of those at the top are making tens of millions a year for doing next to nothing when compared to the people they depend on, the idea of taking care of the people at the low end should be a priority in times such as these. Adam Gabbatt of The Guardian has more to say on this subject.
One might think an emergency fund could be created and left alone to be continually built upon so that when something does happen, which is never a hope, that the employees would have a fund dedicated to helping them when they absolutely need it. If each top-level executive were somehow willing to part with even a single million of their incentives to help develop such a fund ever year this would go a long way towards reminding the people that they employ that they are watching out for them and that they’re bound to get more than a corporate smile and a pat on the back. People tend to work harder when they know they’re valued by their employer and they do tend to enjoy their jobs a lot more when that same employer has their back so to speak. Anyone want to dispute that they enjoy having a boss that actually looks out for them and will do just about anything to prove that their people can trust them? Thus far Disney’s history with their many employees is sketchy at best, as the biggest rewards tend to go towards those that are willing to step over the lower-level employees to secure their yearly bonuses and start making the hundreds of thousands to millions that in many ways they don’t need or deserve. At this point it’s almost a desire to see the parks stay closed and watch Disney’s corporate heads scramble to find another group of individuals that will work for bottom dollar and little to no real respect. Carlye Wisel of Vox has her own opinion on this matter.