Disney executives are pushing back on the company's decision to temporarily cut their six-figure salaries just a day after 'non-essential' workers were told that they were being placed on furlough from April 19.
The grumblings about their five to 20 percent pay cuts have been branded 'selfish and sad' as many lesser-paid employees face weeks and even months furloughed as the Disney parks remain closed until further notice amid the coronavirus pandemic.
On Monday, Walt Disney Co. Executive Chairman Bob Iger announced he will forgo his entire multi-million dollar salary and other top executives will take pay cuts after parks closed and movie releases and production were put on hold, placing major financial strain on the company.
Executives are not happy with the cuts, the Hollywood Reporter claims, as they claim it is not voluntary, as suggested, and that Iger is not taking as much as a hit to his pay packet as them.
Cinderella Castle is seen at the end of an empty Main Street at Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park after it closed in an effort to combat the spread of coronavirus disease. The closures have led to cutbacks in the company but executives are being to push back on drops in salary
The Millennium Falcon spaceship sits amid empty streets at Empty Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge inside Disney's Hollywood Studios theme park. The company has been hit hard by park closures amid the coronavirus pandemic but executives are still unhappy about a paycut
An employee empties a garbage can in Disneyland Park as fears of unemployment and recession looms. Executives at the company have complained about cuts to their salary
Affected executives at the VP, senior VP and executive VP level are said to be upset at the amended contracts they were sent following the March 30 announcement, which sees them taking between a five percent and 20 percent paycut on their salaries.
The cuts are described as 'temporary' but there is no end date set and it is reported that they were given only two days to sign.
The new contracts are said to be voluntary but some believe that not signing them would affect their future in the company.
According to Hollywood Reporter, an executive at Disney can expect to earn between $150,000 and $200,000 in base pay while an executive VP can take home up to $700,000 a year depending on the department they work in.
Some employees have been offered shares in Disney to compensate for the pay cut.
Yet some executives are still said to be unhappy, despite Thursday's announcement that 'non-essential' U.S. workers in Disney are to be furloughed from April 19.
The furloughed staff will remain Disney employees throughout the period and the company will continue to support their healthcare.
An employee cleans the grounds behind the closed gates of Disneyland Park on the first day of the closure of Disneyland and Disney California Adventure theme parks as fear of the spread of coronavirus continue. Some Disney staff will now be furloughed from April 19
The devastating effects on the economy from the pandemic can be seen in Anaheim, California home to Disneyland, which is empty of cars. The company announced some staff will be furloughed on Thursday as the parks look set to remain closed for longer
They are also to continue to be paid until April 18 and have been given the option to take paid leave they have before the furlough period begins.
Those affected are believed to include staff at Disney Parks which closed in March.
The company said on March 28 that their parks would be closed for the foreseeable future as social distancing and stay in place guidelines were extended across the country for another few weeks.
'Much of the company has ground to a halt because of this pandemic, and for these people to complain in the face of so much suffering in the world is just incredibly selfish and sad,' a source told Hollywood Reporter of the executives' complaints.
The VPs frustrations are said to come from the millions of dollars that will still be received by Disney chairperson Bob Iger and company CEO Bob Chapek.
Iger, 69, said he will waive his entire salary after raking in a staggering $47.5million in the last fiscal year. In the 2018 fiscal year, Iger made $65.8million.
His base salary is $3million, but a cash bonus and stock awards helped raise his financial takeaways.
Iger, who was CEO for 15 years before taking on his current position in 2020, is worth an estimated $690 million.
CEO Chapek will take a 50 percent pay cut per his memo. His base salary is $2.5million, with an annual target bonus of $7.5million and an annual long-term incentive grant of $15million.
It's unclear if the 50 percent reduction will apply to his base salary or to his entire compensation.
Disney Chairperson Bob Iger is to wave his salary for the year as the company struggles
Disney CEO Bob Chapek has said he will taje a 50 oercent paycut amid the pandemic
Chapek said: 'The pandemic is also having a devastating impact on the global and U.S. economies, and it’s hitting businesses like ours particularly hard.
'In a matter of weeks, we’ve experienced widespread disruption across our company, with our domestic parks and hotels closed indefinitely, our cruise line suspended, our film and TV production halted and theatrical distribution delayed both domestically and internationally, and our retail stores shut down.
'While I am confident we will get through this challenging period together and emerge even stronger, we must