Disney is making news. Again. In the past few months, Disney has bagged a few conflicts while also entertaining the audience with many releases. It has just settled its case with Scarlett Johansson relating to the release of Black Widow on Disney+ right after its movie theater release. While the two settled the matter very cordially and even promised to continue having creative projects with each other, Disney already has another dispute in line.
Neil Gaiman recently tweeted:
“If you’re wondering whether @Disney have stepped up and paid the royalties they owe to authors, illustrators & comics artists for books & GNs they have published or relicensed, the answer’s NO. (They’ve paid a few high-profile authors.)”
He also attached a link to a blog that mentions their research on Disney’s acquisition of many publishers and works along with rights.
The conflict is such that Disney adapts many works and owns many series. As they are not the creators of the works, they have to buy the rights of the creator. One such Disney-owned work is the famous novelization of Star Wars and Alien which was done by Alan Dean Foster. Along with Science Fiction Writers of American (SFWA), Foster campaigned against Disney for a long time. They put forth the issue of Disney not paying any royalties to the creator. As the campaign drew a great deal of negative traction, Disney was forced to sign a deal with Foster but there still remain many authors, artists and creators who are not paid by Disney.
Having said that, it is important to note that it isn’t that Disney is not doing anything. It is that Disney is doing the most bare minimum which is ridiculous due to the sheer size of the company and the deep pockets it boasts. Many high-profile writers are compensated by the company but other lesser-known creators are still affected by the lack of royalties.
Resolving The Conflict
To rectify this and to show solidarity, SFWA along with other organizations have formed a Task Force that works towards getting Disney to pay their dues. They have also influenced many supporters to head to social media and show their support. By sharing their feelings towards this injustice and using the hashtag #DisneyMustPay, many are able to generate popularity towards this cause. Neil Gaiman has shown his support towards this cause multiple times and he continues to stand by his argument.
Being fans and avid readers, we too should step up and raise our voices. Use the hashtag mentioned above and share your opinion on. Keep in mind that the task force doesn’t boycott the corporation as this can only hurt the creators more.