Disney company blasts Abigail Disney’s ‘stunt’ visit to park

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The Walt Disney Company lashed out at family heiress Abigail Disney on Wednesday after she told reporters about supposedly poor working conditions at its Disneyland amusement park.

In a statement to The Hill, the company characterized Disney’s claims about poor conditions for park employees, as “baseless” and “egregious.”

“We generally avoid commenting on such baseless reports like this, but this one is particularly egregious and we won’t let this stand,” the company said in an email.

{mosads}”We strongly disagree with this characterization of our employees and their experience at Disney. This widely reported stunt is a gross and unfair exaggeration of the facts that is not only a misrepresentation, but also an insult to the thousands of employees who are part of the Disney community,” the statement continued.

Disney, granddaughter of Walt Disney’s brother, Roy Disney, told the Yahoo News show “Through Her Eyes” that she received a Facebook message from a distraught worker at the park, leading her to investigate conditions there.

Yahoo News originally reported that the Disney heiress went “undercover” at the park, though later issued an editor’s note, saying the Disney heiress did not make such a claim.

She told the Financial Times this week that she met workers at the California amusement park who she claimed were forced to scrounge for leftovers in the trash to feed themselves.

“Every single one of these people I talked to were saying, ‘I don’t know how I can maintain this face of joy and warmth when I have to go home and forage for food in other people’s garbage,’ ” she said. “I was so livid when I came out of there because, you know, my grandfather taught me to revere these people that take your tickets, that pour your soda.”

While she does not hold a position at the company, Disney has been a vocal advocate for workers’ rights and higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.

She alleged to the Financial Times that she wrote to CEO Bob Iger, who she said directed her to the company’s human resources department.

The company defended its vocational education program and pay scale for hourly workers in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday.

“Disney is at the forefront of providing workforce education, which is widely recognized as the best way to create economic opportunity for employees and empower upward mobility,” a spokesperson said.

In a longer statement, a spokesperson for the company accused the Disney heiress of a “gross and unfair exaggeration of the facts,” calling it “not only a misrepresentation, but also an insult to the thousands of employees who are part of the Disney community.”

“We continually strive to enhance the employment experience of our more than 200,000 employees through a variety of benefits and programs that provide them opportunity, mobility and well-being,” the spokesperson added Tuesday.

– This story was updated at 6:02 p.m. to reflect Yahoo News’ updated story and editor’s note

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