A doc from the Disney family takes aim at the Mouse House
NEW YORK (AP) — Abigail E.
Disney has been critical of the company
that bears her name before. But for the
first time, Disney,
O. Disney, has
put her views
into the medium
House was built
on: a movie.
In the new
and Other Fairy
argues that the
Walt Disney Co. has lost its moral
compass. As one of the company’s
most prominent and outspoken critics
— one who happens to be from within
the Disney family — Disney lays out
an unflattering portrait of the company,
particularly in regard to pay inequity
and the struggles of some theme park
employees to sustain their families on
“They have gone the way of most
every other company in this country.
They started with a bigger idea of
themselves than that,” Disney said in
an interview. “The Walt Disney Co. was
better. It was kinder, it was gentler. It
was a human company.
“We have lost the plot,” said Disney.
“The American Dream,” which is
playing in select theaters and debuts
Friday on video-on-demand, is directed
by Disney, an activist and film producer,
and the filmmaker Kathleen Hughes. It
was made on the heels of a series of
tweets from Disney in 2019 in which
she slammed Bob Iger, then-Disney
chief executive, for compensation that
in 2018 surpassed $65 million. Disney’s
siblings, Susan Disney Lord and Tim
Disney, are also executive producers on
the film, which was made without any
interaction from the company.
“No one’s reached out to me. I’m a
little mystified by it, frankly,” said Disney.
“I’m happy to talk if that’s what
they want to do. I am rooting for them.
I love this company. This is a love letter
to the company. But when you really,
really love something and see it going
off the rails, you can’t be silent.”
The film follows four Disneyland
custodians who on a salary of $15 an
hour struggle to make ends meet in the
high-priced Anaheim, California, area.
Growing pay gaps between executives
and low-rung workers is an issue Disney
knows goes far beyond the company
her film concerns. At one point
in the film, she describes her hope for
change as “a little Disney.
“I know that people think I’m just
living out here in abstract land,” Disney
said. “But the abstractions matter a lot,
and the sensibilities must change.”