Elizabeth Warren: ‘Disney will never response my questions’ on layoffs and govt pay

Final month Disney mentioned it was laying off 28,000 folks in the US as the pandemic decimated its parks and resorts enterprise. Soon immediately after that, in a letter on Oct 13, Warren skewered Disney for generating “quick-sighted” enterprise decisions that blew as a result of the company’s money, whilst “showering its top rated executives with more than-the-top rated payment deals and salaries.”
Disney (DIS) CEO Bob Chapek responded to Warren in his possess letter on Tuesday, stating that the senator’s “indictment that our past actions in some way weakened our economic cushion and our means to keep and pay out employees amid the pandemic is unwell-deemed and deceptive.”

“As you are nicely mindful, this unprecedented crisis has experienced a devastating effect on businesses nationwide, and organizations huge and little have experienced to choose the tricky actions necessary to weather conditions the impression,” he added.

Warren responded in a assertion on Wednesday: “Disney will not likely reply my questions mainly because it has no great answers. The corporation mentioned it was merely unfeasible to retain paying out staff but had no explanation for how it was feasible to restore senior executive spend.”

Chapek agreed before this calendar year to choose a 50% pay reduce, and govt chairman Bob Iger agreed to forgo the remainder of his income. Hundreds of Disney vice presidents and previously mentioned also took momentary pay cuts of lessen percentages previously this calendar year — but in August, Deadline noted, these cuts ended. (It is not distinct that Iger and Chapek’s voluntary cuts were being reversed by that selection.) Warren also mentioned in her letter before this thirty day period that foundation salaries symbolize a tiny portion of Disney executives’ general compensation.

Disney did not right away respond to a ask for for comment about Warren’s assertion.

Warren additional on Wednesday: “Disney used its crisis fund by handing out billions of bucks to its leading rich executives and shareholders in inventory buybacks and dividends,” but after the pandemic strike its business, it “left 1000’s of personnel holding the bag.”

In his letter, Chapek famous Disney closed its domestic parks in March but ongoing to spend staff members for “nicely in excess of a thirty day period.”

“As the pandemic persisted, we experienced to make the complicated decision to furlough personnel whilst continuing to shell out the entire cost of their wellbeing protection,” Chapek ongoing. “More than six months after closing our domestic parks, with the result of the pandemic even now very unsure, we experienced no selection to lay off a selection of non-functioning personnel.”

Chapek added that Disney’s money selections about the past couple decades are “wholly unrelated to the will need to lay off staff.”

“As we have stated, specified the ongoing uncertainties of this pandemic, which includes limits on capability to advertise social distancing, and the Condition of California’s refusal to allow a risk-free reopening any time shortly, it however is not possible to pay non-working staff members indefinitely.”

CNN Business’ Matt Egan contributed to this report.