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,

the granddaughter


co-founder Roy

O. Disney, has

put her views

into the medium

the Mouse

House was built

on: a movie.

In the new


“The American


and Other Fairy

Tales,” Disney

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

minimum-wage salaries.

“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.”


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