Disney Sidesteps Senator Warren’s Questions on Mass Layoffs and Executive Salaries with Snide Public Statement to CNBC

Disney has once again “clapped back” at government officials, this time in an attempt to cast doubt over a meticulously-worded and researched letter sent to company executives Bob Iger and Bob Chapek, written by Senator Elizabeth Warren.

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In her letter, Senator Warren demands answers in the wake of mass layoffs impacting up to 28,000 Cast Members across Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, citing the reinstatement of the salaries of executives just months before the mass layoff, among other questionable company priorities, such as the payment of generous dividends to shareholders and stock buybacks.

CNBC shared the statement issued to them by a company spokesperson during today’s “Closing Bell” segment. The statement indicated that the letter was filled with inaccuracies… without addressing any in particular. You can view the segment in the video below:

Disney’s full statement can be read in the gallery below:

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Senator Warren’s letter concluded with a series of seven very specific follow-up questions:

  1. Which types of Disney employees will be laid off per Mr. D’Amaro’s September 29,2020 memo? What was the anticipated monthly total cost of wages for these employees? Do any of these employees have recall rights? If so, will these individuals retain their seniority if rehired by Disney?
  2. How were decisions made with regard to which employees would be laid off?
  3. Will Disney provide health care coverage for laid-off employees? Will Disney cover any premiums for this health care coverage? If so, which laid-off employees?

a. Will Disney provide any additional support for these employees?

  1. How much in total compensation has Disney awarded each of its top executives and its Board members, in (a) FY 2019; and (b) FY 2020? Please describe the components of this compensation.
  2. What specific cuts in executive salary and compensation were made at the beginning of the pandemic? Are reports that these cuts have been reversed – in whole or in part –accurate?
  3. What is the total value of stock buybacks made by Disney in each quarter starting in FY2016? To what extent did this increase the stock’s value, and to what extent did it benefittop executives and members of the Board?
  4. How much has Disney paid its shareholders in dividends in each year since 2017? To what extent did this benefit top executives and members of the Board?

Whether Disney will actually respond to these specific questions, or consider the statement issued to CNBC sufficient is still unknown. Senator Warren has requested a response by October 27, 2020. Her thoughts mirror many of the opinions we’ve reflected across our posts here at WDWNT, and we appreciate her taking a stand on behalf of Cast Members across both coasts.