Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Monday called on Disney to share its Avengers: Endgame profits among the workers who labored to make the film an instant success.
The final saga of the Marvel superhero franchise raked in $1.2 billion since opening on Friday, shattering all previous opening weekend records. Sanders also took aim at Disney CEO Bob Iger’s astronomical salary.
“What would be truly heroic is if Disney used its profits from Avengers to pay all of its workers a middle class wage,” Sanders wrote on Twitter, “instead of paying its CEO Bob Iger $65.6 million – over 1,400 times as much as the average worker at Disney makes.”
Sanders’ philosophy that all workers deserve a decent living wage amplifies the importance of tackling income inequality is a hallmark issue of the 2020 presidential race.
But not everyone agreed, and an intense debate bloomed on social media over how to balance fair pay with the economic realities of the free market.
Sanders is not the first to call out Disney’s pay disparity.
Iger recently came under fire from Abigail Disney, heiress to the company’s namesake, who tweeted last week that Iger’s “pay ratio” of “over a thousand is insane.”
Workers “deserve the dignity of a living wage,” Disney said, “Should there really be a permanent underclass of desperately poor people who clean up the messes we make?”
“A full time worker—at any job— should be able to afford medicine food housing transportation child care and education,” Disney insisted. “At a minimum! Do not insult them by implying they are not trying hard enough. If you need beds changed and towels washed, and you are unwilling to do so yourself.”
Painful to watch, imperative to see.