“It got extremely personal when I got reached out to by a cast member in Anaheim and that’s when we knew there was a really important film to be made,” she said. “I don’t think people think about workers at ‘the happiest place on earth’ going without food.”
Disney hiked its pay for most cast members to $15 an hour at Florida’s Disney World in 2018, and it recently began paying cast members $17 in California’s Disneyland theme park — with a raise to $18 by 2023. The company also noted in a statement out Monday that it offers many benefits to help staff advance in their careers.
“The well-being and aspirations of our employees and cast will always be our top priority,” the company said. “We provide a leading and holistic employment package that includes competitive pay and comprehensive benefits for our cast members to grow their careers and care for their families. That starts with fair pay and leading entry wages, but also includes affordable medical coverage, access to tuition-free higher education, subsidized childcare for eligible employees, as well as pathways for personal and professional development.”
The company said it remains committed to identifying new ways it can support cast members.
Although Disney is not a major shareholder in the company and holds no management position with the company, she said she brings a personal connection to the story because of her lineage.
“What I bring to this is a memory of who my grandfather was in the 1960s and early 70s — what kind of CEO he was, how he greeted people, how he understood them as partners and not cogs in a machine,” Disney said.
Disney said she hopes the film can help bring about change.
“We want to make sure policy and social norms change in a positive direction,” Disney said in her promotional video. “I’m hoping it’s not just personal but a story you can relate to.”