ICYMI: Abigail Disney Did NOT Go Undercover at Disneyland
Abigail Disney, a granddaughter of Roy Disney, made the media rounds over the spring and early summer decrying Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger’s salary and the conditions for workers at Anaheim’s Disneyland Resort, at first inferring that she had gone “undercover” in Anaheim.
These stories made headlines across the country, but the correction from one of the original sources did not.
Abigail Disney Was Not Undercover
In a Yahoo News interview with Abigail Disney, published July 9, we reported that she had visited Disneyland to gather information about worker conditions. She subsequently told another news outlet and later confirmed to Yahoo News that in fact she had not visited the theme park but met with Disney workers at an offsite union office in Anaheim, Calif. This information was crucial context, and we regret the error. We have updated the story, video, and headlines on all platforms to reflect this correction.
Disney Also Released A Statement
Less publicized was Disney’s retort to the Disney heiress’ claims.
“We generally avoid commenting on such baseless reports like this, but this one is particularly egregious, and we won’t let this stand.
“We strongly disagree with this characterization of our employees and their experience at Disney. This widely reported stunt is a gross and unfair exaggeration of the facts that is not only a misrepresentation but also an insult to the thousands of employees who are part of the Disney community.
“We continually strive to enhance the employment experience of our more than 200,000 employees through a variety of benefits and programs that provide them opportunity, mobility, and well-being.”
The statement adds that workers at the Disney parks in Orlando and Anaheim earn an average of $19.50 an hour, “significantly above the federal minimum wage.”
Employees also have access to a variety of benefits, from “subsidized child care to generous leave policies, from convenient access to pharmacies and clinics to free college degrees and vocational training programs,” the company said.
“We’re proud of the work we’ve done to improve the lives of our employees, and of the more than 45,000 jobs we’ve added in the United States since 2005,” it said.
A portion of the statement, reported on by FoxNews, added:
“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,” a spokesperson for the Walt Disney Company said in a statement. “The Disney Aspire initiative is the most comprehensive employee education program in the country, covering 100 percent of all tuition costs, books, and fees so our hourly workers can pursue higher education free of charge, and graduate free of debt.”