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Is the American Dream dead? When Abigail Disney, the granddaughter of one of the founders of Disney, received a message from a worker at Disney’s flagship theme park, she discovered that some employees were earning one two-thousandth of the earnings of CEO Bob Iger. She wrote to Iger, testified in Congress and ultimately made a film, “The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales.” In one scene she asks a group of workers, “How many of you know someone that works at Disney that sleeps in their car?” Abigail underscores the need to tax the top 1%, speaks out against corporate greed and calls out the policies and values that created such gaping inequality at Disney and across the business world. The median net worth of the top 10 billionaires in the world has nearly tripled over the last decade while most Americans are earning less than their parents and economic mobility is on the decline. Abigail Disney is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, an activist and the granddaughter of Roy Disney who co-founded the company with Walt. The film, co-directed with Kathleen Hughes is available for streaming now. Laura and Abigail ask how long can corporations sustain the “American Dream” at the expense of their workers.

“There was a woman who played Winnie the Pooh for many years . . . six days a week, who died in her car. That was really a galvanizing moment for a lot of the folks that I spoke to, because the wrongness of this was all concentrated in this one moment.” – Abigail Disney

“Absent collective bargaining, we are all subject to the tender mercies of Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Collective bargaining is the only way workers have to democratically represent their own interests in the workplace.” – Abigail Disney


  • Abigail Disney: Documentary Filmmaker & Social Activist; Co-Director & Producer, The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales; Founder Fork Films; Producer & Host All Ears with Abigail Disney

Portions of this interview are featured in our episode “Abigail Disney: The American Dream or Nightmare for Workers?