PHOTO: Getty Images/Invision/AP
Now playing
03:17
Abigail Disney puts spotlight on income inequality
Now playing
01:35
Strategist: Congress will likely trim Biden's stimulus bill
roger mcnamee fb capitol markets now_00013227.png
roger mcnamee fb capitol markets now_00013227.png
Now playing
03:07
Early Facebook investor: Sandberg's denial of Facebook's role is 'laughable'
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate and former US Vice President Joe Biden speaks on the state of the US economy on September 4, 2020, in Wilmington, Delaware. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:02
Why Wall Street is hopeful about Biden despite economic challenges
PHOTO: Shutterstock
Now playing
02:54
Strategist on bitcoin: Pullback is very expected
Democratic candidates for Senate Jon Ossoff (L), Raphael Warnock (C) and US President-elect Joe Biden (R) bump elbows on stage during a rally outside Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 4, 2021. - President Donald Trump, still seeking ways to reverse his election defeat, and President-elect Joe Biden converge on Georgia on Monday for dueling rallies on the eve of runoff votes that will decide control of the US Senate. Trump, a day after the release of a bombshell recording in which he pressures Georgia officials to overturn his November 3 election loss in the southern state, is to hold a rally in the northwest city of Dalton in support of Republican incumbent senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Biden, who takes over the White House on January 20, is to campaign in Atlanta, the Georgia capital, for the Democratic challengers, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
Democratic candidates for Senate Jon Ossoff (L), Raphael Warnock (C) and US President-elect Joe Biden (R) bump elbows on stage during a rally outside Center Parc Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 4, 2021. - President Donald Trump, still seeking ways to reverse his election defeat, and President-elect Joe Biden converge on Georgia on Monday for dueling rallies on the eve of runoff votes that will decide control of the US Senate. Trump, a day after the release of a bombshell recording in which he pressures Georgia officials to overturn his November 3 election loss in the southern state, is to hold a rally in the northwest city of Dalton in support of Republican incumbent senators Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. Biden, who takes over the White House on January 20, is to campaign in Atlanta, the Georgia capital, for the Democratic challengers, Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff. (Photo by JIM WATSON / AFP) (Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images
Now playing
02:11
Economist: Even with a blue wave, Biden's tax ambitions could stall
FILE - The New York Stock Exchange is seen in New York, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020.   Stocks are ticking higher on Wall Street Wednesday, Dec. 23,  following a mixed set of reports on the economy.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
FILE - The New York Stock Exchange is seen in New York, Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Stocks are ticking higher on Wall Street Wednesday, Dec. 23, following a mixed set of reports on the economy. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
PHOTO: Seth Wenig/AP
Now playing
02:07
Dow falls on first trading day of the year
Now playing
01:02
Scaramucci: Bitcoin is due for a correction
Now playing
05:05
MoneyGram CEO: Our digital platforms are driving growth
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
04:34
Airbnb CEO: People still yearn to travel
NEW YORK CITY- MAY 12: People walk through a shuttered business district in Brooklyn on May 12, 2020 in New York City. Across America, people are reeling from the loss of jobs and incomes as unemployment soars to historical levels following the COVID-19 outbreak. While some states are beginning to re-open slowly, many business are struggling to find a profit with the news restrictions and a population that is fearful of the contagious virus.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW YORK CITY- MAY 12: People walk through a shuttered business district in Brooklyn on May 12, 2020 in New York City. Across America, people are reeling from the loss of jobs and incomes as unemployment soars to historical levels following the COVID-19 outbreak. While some states are beginning to re-open slowly, many business are struggling to find a profit with the news restrictions and a population that is fearful of the contagious virus. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Now playing
02:22
Economist: It's going to take years for jobs to recover
Now playing
01:29
Chewy's CEO expects growth to continue post pandemic
Now playing
02:04
These pot stocks are poised to win big under Biden
Specialist Patrick King works at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Stocks rose in early trading Monday after investors received several pieces of encouraging news on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, tempering concerns over rising virus cases and business restrictions.  (Nicole Pereira/New York Stock Exchange via AP)
Specialist Patrick King works at the New York Stock Exchange on Monday, Nov. 23, 2020. Stocks rose in early trading Monday after investors received several pieces of encouraging news on COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, tempering concerns over rising virus cases and business restrictions. (Nicole Pereira/New York Stock Exchange via AP)
PHOTO: Nicole Pereira/New York Stock Exchange/AP
Now playing
02:15
Dow crosses 30,000 mark for the first time ever
The Federal Reserve is seen in Washington, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. President Donald Trump
The Federal Reserve is seen in Washington, Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. President Donald Trump's unorthodox choice for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, Judy Shelton, could be approved by the Senate this week, according to Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's office. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
PHOTO: J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Now playing
03:39
Alan Greenspan on the Fed's pandemic response
Now playing
02:54
GoodRx Co-CEO says Amazon Pharmacy isn't a competitor
(CNN Business) —  

Abigail Disney took her criticism of the pay gap between CEOs and workers to Capitol Hill Wednesday, telling lawmakers that the country needs to rethink the system.

“We have chased large swaths of Americans into a box canyon and then blamed them for being trapped,” she told members of the House Financial Services Committee at a hearing on strengthening the rights and protections of workers.

Over the past month, Disney – the granddaughter of Walt Disney Company co-founder Roy Disney – has drawn attention for publicly criticizing the disparity between the $65 million paid to CEO Bob Iger and what its average workers make.

“Bob Iger is a nice man, a brilliant manager, and so are most CEOs. But corporate excess has become so normalized that they and their peers can’t really see the problem anymore,” she said Wednesday.

“We need to change the way we understand and practice capitalism,” Disney told members of the House committee.

“Yes, managers have a fiduciary obligation to their shareholders. But they also have a legal and moral responsibility to deliver returns to shareholders without trampling on the dignity and rights of their employees and other stakeholders,” she added.

In a recent Washington Post opinion piece, she challenged the company to redirect half of its executive bonus pool into $2,000 checks for the lowest-paid 10% of its 200,000-person workforce.

The company has pushed back, saying it pays workers above the $7.25-an-hour federal minimum wage, and a starting hourly wage of $15 at Disneyland in California.

“Disney has added more than 70,000 jobs during Mr. Iger’s tenure and has made historic investments to expand the earning potential and upward mobility of our workers,” a Walt Disney Company spokesman said in a statement, adding that the company has committed $150 million to a program that pays for workers to earn a high school, vocational, or college degree.

Iger, who became CEO in 2005, saw his payout boosted last year largely by long-term incentives associated with his contract extension, which was announced alongside the deal for Disney to purchase most of 21st Century Fox.

Abigail Disney argues that there is nothing inherently wrong with a big payday for executives as long as workers can support themselves. She urged lawmakers to consider examining the pay ratio between CEOs and their lowest-paid full-time workers, rather than that between the C-suite and median income-level employees – which some Democrats have called for.

“The median ratio is not a helpful ratio. It treats the lowest paid worker as if they were invisible,” she said.

Some Republican members of the committee challenged Disney to say what pay is fair for a CEO, and what rate is a livable wage. She said, in response, that not every CEO should be paid the same and a liveable wage is not the same in every city.

“The point I am trying to make is we are throwing around numbers here on appropriate CEO pay, what CEO pay should be … but there aren’t any specifics on how we will do that,” said Indiana Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, adding that an attempt to figure out what those rates are would result in “socialism.”

The hearing also addressed a Democratic proposal to require public companies to disclose more information on employee pay.

Wisconsin Republican Rep. Sean Duffy asked Disney what she earns and what she pays her lowest-level worker in her home. Disney said she earns between $5 million and $6 million, pays her her lowest-level worker about $75,000 a year – and donates between $7 million and $8 million annually.

Later in the day, a spokeswoman for Disney said she misheard the question and has other employees whom she pays less, though she pays her housekeeper $75,000.

Republicans also drew attention to the fact that the Democratic committee leaders allowed Disney to have a private film crew at the hearing.

Disney said she is hoping to make a documentary on income inequality and that footage from the hearing might be useful.

When asked if the filming would be for a for-profit entity, Disney said the film might end up making money but that she wouldn’t see any of it.

The heiress to the Disney family fortune has also spoken publicly about how uncomfortable she is with her own wealth. In March, she told New York Magazine that she started giving away money in her 20s and stopped using her family’s private jet.