Sen. Bernie Sanders attacks Disney a day after Trump — for different reasons

  • "I have a feeling ABC will not be asking on its nightly news program tonight how Disney can make $9 billion in profits while three-quarters of Disneyland employees can't afford basic living expenses," the former Democratic presidential candidate said on Twitter.
  • Disney reported $8.98 billion in profits last year.

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, continued his long-running offensive Friday against The Walt Disney Co. and their subsidiary company ABC over pay disparity at the conglomerate's flagship theme park, just a day after President Donald Trump criticized the company on other grounds.

"I have a feeling ABC will not be asking on its nightly news program tonight how Disney can make $9 billion in profits while three-quarters of Disneyland employees can't afford basic living expenses," the former Democratic presidential candidate wrote on his Twitter account.

Sanders is scheduled to meet with workers and businesses in Anaheim, Calif., where Disneyland is located, on Saturday.

Trump on Thursday demanded an apology from Disney CEO Bob Iger for ABC News reporter Brian Ross's false December report that Donald Trump, as a presidential candidate, had asked his advisor Michael Flynn to reach out to the Russian government.

Earlier in the week, ABC canceled the hit sitcom "Roseanne," after Roseanne Barr, the lead actress, compared a black former top Obama aide to an ape. Barr was an outspoken supporter of the president.

Sanders' remarks are not the first time he has criticized Disney, which reported $8.98 billion in profits last year.

At a 2016 campaign stop in Anaheim, Calif., where Disneyland is located, Sanders said that many Disneyland employees "are forced to live in motels because they can't afford a decent place to live," according to Fortune.

In its second quarter ended March 31, the company reported year-over-year adjusted profit growth of about 23 percent.

A study this year conducted by Economic Roundtable, a nonprofit research organization, found that three-quarters of Disneyland employees can't afford rent, food and gas. The survey was funded by labor groups lobbying for increased pay, and was criticized by Disney at the time.

"This inaccurate and unscientific survey was paid for by politically motivated labor unions and its results are deliberately distorted and do not reflect how the overwhelming majority of our 30,000 cast members feel about the company," park spokeswoman Suzi Brown said, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Representatives for Sanders did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC. A spokesperson for Disney pointed to the company's Friday announcement that the park would be raising starting wages by 36 percent over the next three years.