The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force is releasing the following Open Letter to Disney today.
Walt Disney said, “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way.” We believe all authors must be paid. The #DisneyMustPay campaign started in November 2020 with a press conference and an open letter to Mickey Mouse.
We remind you: it’s been well over a year.
You’ve paid some authors what you owed them. But there are other creators that you don’t want to talk about. And, because you did not take our advice, new creators are coming forward who are owed money, too.
You still refuse to recognize your obligations to lesser known authors who wrote media tie-in works for Marvel, for Star Wars, for Aliens, for Predator, for Buffy: TVS and more, universes that you’ve bought the rights to, along with the obligations to those creators. You’ve re-published their works but have failed to do even the bare necessities of contract and talent management. You’ve failed to pay these writers royalties they’re legally owed, and have not given them the courtesy of royalty statements and reprint notices.
These pandemic years have been hard on creators. Surveys by the Authors Guild and the Society of Authors have shown 71.4% of writers’ incomes in the USA and 57% in the UK have declined since it began. Inflation is growing, bills still need to be paid. Honor the contracts.
#DisneyMustPay all writers what they’re owed. Put up an FAQ, create a point of contact, send out royalty statements, make payments in a timely manner, and let creators know when you’ve republished their works.
It’s time to honor your agreements. It’s time all creators were paid what they’re owed.
Background on the #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force
The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force identifies and guides authors and other creators who might be owed money. Disney is refusing to cooperate with the Joint Task Force to identify affected authors and other creators. The Task Force was formed by Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc. (SFWA) and includes the Authors Guild, Horror Writers Association, International Association of Media Tie-In Writers (IAMTW), International Thriller Writers, Mystery Writers of America, National Writers Union, Novelists, Inc., Romance Writers of America, Sisters in Crime (SinC), Writers Guild of America West (WGAW), and Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE). Individual writers on the Task Force are Neil Gaiman, Lee Goldberg, Mary Robinette Kowal, Chuck Wendig, and Tess Gerritsen.
The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force makes sure writers’ and other creators’ contracts are honored, but individual negotiations are rightly between them, their agents, and the rights holder. The Disney Task Force is working to address structural and systemic concerns. Additional updates and information are available at www.writersmustbepaid.org.
[Based on a press release.]