Sean Gunn blasts Disney CEO for saying its a ‘shame’ the writers and actors are on strike
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Sean Gunn has hit out at Disney CEO Bob Iger over the executive’s recent comments about the writers and actors who are currently on strike.
The 49-year-old actor, who played Kraglin in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, questioned Iger’s comments after the Disney boss said it was ‘a shame’ that the Writer’s Guild of America East and West and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists are now on strike.
Hollywood effectively shut down when actors joined writers in striking on Thursday (13 July), with protestors gathering outside the studios of major companies including Disney, Netflix, Paramount and more amid calls for better pay and working conditions.
On the same day actors joined the strike, Iger, who had an estimated net worth of $690m in 2019, per Forbes, complained about the unprecedented protests.
The Disney boss was dismissive to the striking workers’ demands which he called ‘unrealistic’ in a lengthy sit-down interview with CNBC from Sun Valley, Idaho.
“I understand any labor organization’s desire to work on behalf of its members to get the most compensation and be compensated fairly based on the value that they deliver,” he said.
“We managed, as an industry, to negotiate a very good deal with the directors guild that reflects the value that the directors contribute to this great business.
“We wanted to do the same thing with the writers, and we’d like to do the same thing with the actors. There’s a level of expectation that they have, that is just not realistic.
"And they are adding to the set of the challenges that this business is already facing that is, quite frankly, very disruptive.”
Iger, who has extended his Disney contract until 2026, also said: “It will have a very, very damaging effect on the whole business and unfortunately, there’s huge collateral damage in the industry to people who are supportive services, and I could go on and on.
"It will affect the economy of different regions, even, because of the sheer size of the business. It’s a shame, it is really a shame.”
His comments did not go down well and Gilmore Girls alum Gunn is the latest to air his frustrations about Iger’s thoughts regarding the mass strike.
“I think when Bob Iger talks about, ‘What a shame it is,’ he needs to remember that in 1980, CEOs like him made 30 times what their lowest worker was making,” Gunn said on the picket line in a short interview with The Associated Press on Friday (14 July).
“Now Bob Iger makes 400 times what his lowest worker is,” the actor continued. “And I think that’s a f***ing shame, Bob.”
Gunn, who is the brother of Guardians of the Galaxy director and DC boss James Gunn, continued: “Maybe you should take a look in the mirror and ask yourself ‘Why is that?’
“And not only ‘why is that’ - is it OK? Is it morally OK? Is it ethically OK that you make that much more than your lowest worker?
“And if so, why? Why is that OK? If your response is that that’s just the way business is done now, that’s just the way corporations work now - well, that sucks.
“And that makes you a s****y person, if that’s your answer. So, you should come up with a better answer than that.”