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Abigail Disney slams Disney World’s reopening as coronavirus cases spike in Florida

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Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of Disney cofounder Roy O. Disney, slammed the company’s decision to reopen Disney World as the coronavirus pandemic surges in Florida.

Disney is an Emmy-winning filmmaker and activist and is not involved in the affairs of her namesake company, but that didn’t stop her from saying she was “incredibly concerned” about the theme park’s ability to navigate the pandemic. “I can’t imagine they are able to protect their employees and all their customers,” she said Wednesday during an appearance on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.

“I will say that I don’t know how a person sleeps at night given what we know to be—and [Disney executives] know perfectly well—to be the condition of their workers and the insecurity they’re living in now,” Disney said. “Two of the three people I have been talking to in Anaheim [park] have asthma and they seriously don’t have any idea how they’re going to address this decision even if they get offered their position back.

“So I have to say preserving your bonus, as they did, was unconscionable,” she added. “There’s just no making sense of it, as far as I am concerned.”

Disney is referring to the decision to furlough 100,000 low-paid theme park and hotel workers while top company executives kept massive bonuses despite publicly committing to forgo their salaries, the Financial Times reported earlier this year. The company has said executive bonuses are not determined until the end of the year, and that the reports are based on what has happened in past years.

At the time of the report, in April, Disney slammed the company’s policies in a thread on Twitter. “All $1.5 billion of [the bonuses]. 1.5 BILLION. That’d pay for three months salary to front line workers,” she said. “And it’s going to people who have already been collecting egregious bonuses for years.”

Disney World fully reopened on Wednesday, just as COVID-19 cases in Florida surpassed 300,000. Disney is trying to mitigate the risks with a number of health and safety measures, including mandatory requirements to wear a mask and get temperatures checked, as well as increased cleaning at all resorts.

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