Abigail Disney “Livid” with Working Conditions for Disneyland Cast Members

Matthew Soberman

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Abigail Disney “Livid” with Working Conditions for Disneyland Cast Members

Abigail Disney, Roy O. Disney’s granddaughter and Walt Disney’s great-niece, recently expressed her anger with working conditions for Disneyland cast members following an undercover visit in an interview with Yahoo! News’ Zainab Salbi.

Abigail Disney

Abigail said she made the visit after she received a Facebook message from a Cast Member at the park. After speaking with Cast Members, she said she was “so livid” with what she heard: “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.”

“I was so livid when I came out of there because, you know, my grandfather [Roy O. Disney] taught me to revere these people that take your tickets, that pour your soda, that scrape the bubblegum off the sidewalks every night so you walk into an immaculate place. Those people are much of the recipe for success, and in a company that’s never been more profitable, there is no excuse for any employee to be using food stamps, to be doubling up on housing, to be rationing their insulin.”

Abigail says she’s tried to contact The Walt Disney Company’s CEO, Bob Iger, in an attempt to start a dialogue on the matter, to no avail. She’s expressed disappointment with Iger’s lack of action. “Bob needs to understand he’s an employee, just the same as the people scrubbing gum off the sidewalk are employees, and they’re entitled to all the same dignity and human rights that he is.”

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When Yahoo! News reached out to the company for comment, a spokesperson discussed their education initiative, Disney Aspire, which encourages Cast Members to pursue higher education, covering 100% of tuition costs, books, and fees, adding that over forty percent of hourly staff have signed up for the program so far, adding a statement:

“Disney is at the forefront of providing workforce education, which is widely recognized as the best way to create economic opportunity for employees and empower upward mobility. American workers need meaningful change; they deserve smart policies and practical programs, like Disney Aspire, that empower them to achieve their goals and ensure they are part of the most competitive workforce in the world.”

Abigail believes that Disney’s high earnings should help to better compensate the most vulnerable people who work for the company, adding: “I have more than enough. And if you’ve got $1 billion, there’s not a thing on this earth you can’t afford.”


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7 thoughts on “Abigail Disney “Livid” with Working Conditions for Disneyland Cast Members”

  1. Abigail has had a life of entitlement and comfort. The very thing that Walt never could understand. Walt followed his dream and his heart, bankrupted several times, lost everything more than once, and picked himself up, and started again. Even in success, Walt was plagued by those who had their hand out without regard to what they committed to. (May 1941).
    Most of us have to work for a living, sometimes the work is great, sometimes it’s a means to an end. If we don’t like the work we are in we have the option of doing what Walt did, dig deeper, take a risk, and get to a better place.

  2. I feel that the big issue here is that the big executives, possibly, including Iger, are taking far too much $$$$ for themselves,even FAR more than they could ever use or need, while cast members suffer!

  3. Thank you, Abigail, for standing up for the people who help make us happy. Just about all of us have been the “little guy” at some point.

  4. I spoke to one of the Disney relatives, and he said that they have no input on how the park is run. The issue is that bean-counters are running things, in the standard, “employees are worthless but absolutely essential” way. Low wages, benefits, maybe. These jobs, though highly customer service oriented, are low paying, just as those at a fast food place are low paying.

    When I was a kid, teens used to work there during the summer, and so did one of my teachers. It looked good on a resume in the 1960’s, and then one moved on. Some of the employees at D’land have been there for 50 years. As a second income for a couple, it might fly, but as a solo career, you’re better off working elsewhere. With housing prices impossibly high, and rents at $2,000/month in the area, it’s got to be either 10 people to a 2 bedroom apartment, or living in your car, unless you had relatives leave you a house.

    People think that, since they pay a high fee to get in and the prices of the food and drinks are so high, that they are paying the employees well. Not so!

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