Just for fun, let’s take a look at the latest amendment to Disney C.E.O. Bob Iger’s employment agreement, as included yesterday in an S.E.C. filing. There’s a line that seems relevant today, as SAG-AFTRA joined the Writers Guild on strike for the first time since 1960 over claims that include the lack of a success metric in their compensation. “Your target annual incentive bonus opportunity,” the Iger contract now reads, “shall be five hundred percent (500%) of your Base Salary as in effect at the end of such fiscal year.”
Yes, it’s a success metric, a pretty standard element of executive compensation, and one of several baked into Iger’s deal. It’s also the same kind of success metric that Iger is now calling “not realistic,” and that the other AMPTP studio members declined even to bargain over, according to sources at the negotiation table. And it’s one of the reasons that today epitomizes everything that has come to define this era of chaos, hypocrisy and class warfare in Hollywood.
There was Iger this morning on CNBC, fresh from the two-year contract extension we all knew would happen despite the fact that were told just seven months ago that it would definitely not happen, sitting authoritatively amid the picturesque Idaho mountains at Herb Allen’s billionaire summer camp, talking starkly about Disney’s new era of austerity: the painful but necessary layoffs, the dispiriting fact that Marvel and Lucasfilm should be making fewer shows, that Pixar movies should cost less; how ABC and the linear networks, the cash cows of a bygone era that allowed Iger to pull Disney away from the other studios, “may not be core” to the company. Dark stuff.