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Walt Disney’s Grand-Niece Slams American Rich As ‘Taking Advantage’ Of Tax System

by : Hannah Smith on : 27 Jun 2021 18:40
Walt Disney's Grand-Niece Slams American Rich As 'Taking Advantage' Of Tax SystemPA Images

Walt Disney’s great-niece has accused America’s ultra-wealthy of being ‘terribly dangerous’ to democracy, slamming billionaire execs for ‘taking advantage’ of the tax system.

As an heir to one of the United States’ most successful and lucrative companies, Abigail Disney has done her fair share of mingling with the country’s rich and powerful, and it seems like she’s far from impressed by what she’s seen.

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Abigail Disney has called on billionaires to pay more taxes (PA Images)PA Images

Speaking on CNN last week, Disney said America’s economy operated under an ‘upside down structure’ that allowed the wealthiest people to do little work while those working the longest hours got little in return.

‘The fact is that people are sitting on their rear ends on their couches earning and not paying taxes on money while people are going out every day to a job and working their butts off just to make ends meet,’ she said.

‘There are people flying private aircraft right now who would rather be shot than get on a first class seat on a normal airline because it would mean they would have to walk through an air terminal… and that is terribly dangerous to democracy, to society.’

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US billionaires accused of avoiding taxes (PA Images)PA Images

Disney is worth an estimated $120 million after inheriting a fortune as the granddaughter of Walt Disney’s brother Roy, who co-founded the iconic studio with his brother in 1923. A documentary film producer herself, she’s part of a group called the Patriotic Millionaires who are campaigning for other ultra-wealthy Americans to pay more taxes.

She’s not shied away from criticising her own family’s company either, calling out Disney last year after it furloughed workers while simultaneously handing its executives million dollar bonuses, or even herself, admitting in an op-ed published in The Atlantic that she had been taught to ‘use every tool at your disposal within the law, especially through estate planning, to keep as much of that money as possible out of the hands of government bureaucrats.’

Disney was speaking out in response to a ProPublica report that revealed how some of America’s wealthiest billionaires, including Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, were paying less income tax as a proportion of their wealth than some of the country’s poorest workers.

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Hannah Smith

Hannah Smith is a London-based journalist at UNILAD. After studying History at UCL she worked for print publications on both sides of the pond, including spells at Harper's Magazine and The Times, before graduating with an MA in Newspaper Journalism from City, University of London.

Topics: News, Billionaires, Disney, Now

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CNN
  1. CNN

    Abigail Disney: Executives would rather be shot than fly first class