'Jesus Christ himself isn't worth 500 times his median worker pay in companies' — Disney heiress slams CEO pay

  • Abigail Disney said Thursday that she thinks CEOs in general are paid too much.
  • The heiress has long been a proponent of lowering executive paychecks and taxing the rich more.
  • Disney along with around 200 other millionaires living in New York asked lawmakers to introduce a "millionaires tax" on households earning more than $5 million to help fund affordable housing, infrastructure and other initiatives.
Honorary chair and co-founder of Level Forward, Abigail E. Disney speaks onstage during attends the New York Women's Foundation's 2018 'Celebrating Women' breakfast on May 10, 2018 in New York City.
Monica Schipper | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
Honorary chair and co-founder of Level Forward, Abigail E. Disney speaks onstage during attends the New York Women's Foundation's 2018 'Celebrating Women' breakfast on May 10, 2018 in New York City.

Heiress Abigail Disney thinks corporate America is being paid too much.

The granddaughter of Roy Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Co. with brother Walt Disney, said Thursday on CNBC's "Squawk Box" that she thinks "CEOs in general are paid far too much."

Disney refused to comment on whether she thinks Disney CEO Bob Iger is paid too much. But she did say, "If your CEO salary is at the 700, 600, 500 times your median workers' pay, there is nobody on Earth, Jesus Christ himself isn't worth 500 times his median workers' pay."

On Monday, Iger agreed to a new compensation contract that cut his maximum potential annual pay by $13.5 million.

He was awarded $65.6 million for his performance last fiscal year, the result of a pay bump for extending his tenure at Disney through 2021 and stock awards in excess of $35 million.

This year, however, the company eliminated a $500,000 boost to his base salary, keeping it at $3 million. It also cut his potential cash bonus from $20 million to $12 million and reduced his long-term incentive pay from $25 million to $20 million, the company said in a securities filing Monday.

The heiress, 59, has long been a proponent of lowering executive paychecks and taxing the rich more.

"The problem is that there's a systematic favoring of people who have accumulated an enormous amount of wealth," she said.

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Disney signed on to a letter with about 200 other millionaires living in New York last month, asking lawmakers to introduce a "millionaires tax" on households earning more than $5 million to help fund affordable housing, infrastructure and other initiatives.

Disney declined to say what a fair tax would be for millionaires, but noted that there needs to be more conversations about what is fair and how to rectify the inequality between the working class and the super rich.

"I think that the top rate right now is as low as it's ever been," Disney said. "And if I'm paying a lower effective rate than my assistant is, something is fundamentally not right."