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‘There’s a level of expectation that they have that is just not realistic’: Disney CEO Bob Iger blasts strike demands as irresponsible

Iger is estimated to be worth more than $600 million.

Bob Iger
Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

In returning to head Disney last year, CEO Bob Iger agreed to a compensation package worth more than $20 million annually. He never has to go hungry or worry about being replaced by a computer and apparently believes those who fear these things are being unrealistic in Hollywood’s current strikes.

The 72-year-old makes the comments in a new interview on CNBC’s Squawk Box. While speaking to correspondent David Faber, Iger says the entertainment business is facing challenges greater than he anticipated, he has faith in the company’s theme parks, and — as The Hollywood Reporter also noted — calls the strike “disturbing,” and, while he respects people having the right and desire to be compensated fairly, those who are not in the C-suites like he and his peers are do not appreciate industry turbulence.

“We managed to negotiate a good deal with the Directors Guild that reflects the value the directors contribute to this business. We wanted to do the same thing with the writers and we’d like to do the same thing with the actors. There’s a level of expectation that they have that is just not realistic, and they are adding to a set of challenges this business is already facing, that is frankly, very disruptive.”

When pressed by Faber, Iger did not bother to clarify what he feels is unrealistic and online, those who do not have a net worth estimated by Forbes to be more than $600 million are not happy with his assessment. On Twitter, Honest Trailers writer Lon Harris says Iger is not thinking about how people in Los Angeles who are struggling will react when he comes into where they work and wants to buy something;

And, for MacGyver writer David Slack, such comments do not square up with what he sees as Iger’s greed with his current compensation and the broader fiscal trends seen among the studios as a collective group.

Iger DID take a pay cut during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and before he returned to run Disney he was earning more than $40 million in cash stock and options, but, there is no indication the man has adjusted his salary since the “challenging” and “disruptive” environment he says media is now in began to take shape. Whether this will happen remains to be seen, but, considering Iger had to be shamed by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders into raising park employee pay in his last stint, odds are low. For now, he will get to keep his golden parachute and will continue dueling with DeSantis down in Florida.

About the author

Evan J. Pretzer

A freelance writer with We Got This Covered for more than a year, Evan has been writing professionally since 2017. His interests include television, film and gaming and previous articles have been filed at Screen Rant and Canada's National Post. Evan also has a master's degree from The American University in journalism and public affairs.