Bernie Sanders Went To Anaheim And Slammed Disney
Populist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is in Los Angeles, and after appearing in Santa Monica last night and swinging through Glassell Park for some third-wave coffee this morning, it appears that he caused quite a sensation with a speech in Anaheim Tuesday.
Speaking to a crowd of 1,500 across the street from Disneyland at the Anaheim Convention Center, Sanders trashed the hand that feeds this company town. The Orange County Register reports that during his speech, Sanders used Disney "as an example of the downside of modern capitalism," saying:
"We’re in a nation where a lot of people are in trouble,” Sanders told a crowd of about 1,500 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Then he asked this: “Anybody here working for Disney?” Many responded that they do.
“Anybody here making a living wage working for Disney?” Many responded that they do not.
The Washington Post excerpted a longer section of Sanders' speech:
"I'm probably the only politician to go to Anaheim and say this," Sanders said. "I use Disney not just to pick on Disney, but as an example of what people are talking about when they talk about a rigged economy. Here in Anaheim, and the surrounding areas, Disney pays its workers wages that are so low that many of them are forced to live in motels because they can't afford a decent place to live. Meanwhile, Disney made a record-breaking profit of nearly $3 billion last quarter. At the other side of the world, in Florida, Disney replaced 250 workers with foreign workers using the H1-B visa program. They had tech workers train the people that were replacing them!"
According to the Washington Post, Sanders also ripped into ABC News (which is owned by Disney) for not airing coverage that would depict Disney in a negative light.
One Disney employee spoke out against the company on Facebook, seconding Sanders' complaints:
Suzi Brown, Director of Media Relations & External Communications for Disneyland Resort, reached out to LAist to tell a different story:
Mr. Sanders clearly doesn’t have his facts right. The Disneyland Resort generates more than $5.7 billion annually for the local economy, and as the area’s largest employer has added more than 11,000 jobs over the last decade, a 65% increase. These numbers don’t take into account our $1 billion expansion to add a Star Wars-themed land, which will create thousands of additional jobs across multiple sectors.
You can see the whole speech here:
Note: This post was updated to include a response from Disneyland Resort.