Earlier this year, a group of people working with science fiction and fantasy writers from America and other writers’ guilds have formed the “Disney Must Pay Task Force. It was the result of a public disagreement between the workshop and Star wars and Extraterrestrial novelist linked Alan Dean Foster on Disney’s withholding royalty payments. Their latest push isn’t to help another writer, but to call Disney’s ongoing legal battle with Marvel Black Widow star Scarlett Johansson.
Over the summer, it emerged that Johansson was suing the Walt Disney Company, alleging that his movie studio had broken his contract for the solo. Black Widow movie. This came after several delays from its original 2020 release window and the superhero title showing simultaneously in theaters and as part of Disney + ‘s Premier Access service. After several public round trips in which Disney accused the actress of having “imperceptibly” taken advantage of the covid-19 pandemic against the poor little mega-corporation, the House of the mouse is now watching private arbitration instead of a trial. The very public fight sparked a wave of talk about successful actor contracts in the era of streaming debut.
Disney’s attempts to keep the debate out of the public eye, while unsurprisingly, have not stopped organizations and public figures from supporting Johansson’s trial. Last night, Disney must pay Task Force—SFWA’s initiative to seek appropriate royalty payments for authors of licensed material through comics and books like Extraterrestrial, Star wars, and Buffy the vampire Killer before the acquisition of these licenses by Disney—rreleased a statement supporting the actress. The #DisneyMustPay Joint Task Force calls on Disney to respect Scarlett Johansson’s professional and artistic work on the film Black Widow“, begins the statement provided to the press.” The first way to respect Ms. Johansson is to pay her properly and not to use unethical contractual maneuvers to avoid payment. This is not the first time that the task force sees Disney attempting such a twist in contractual language. “
The group has already made significant strides in finding appropriate treatment for writers: Foster revealed he settled his situation with Disney earlier this year. The company had previously refused to pay him royalties for Star wars and Extraterrestrial novelties related to the film (as well as the first Star wars extended universe novel, Shard of the Spirit’s Eye) wrote before the giant acquired both Lucasfilm and Fox, despite the company having since reissued some of that work under a new brand. In May, Boom Studios, which obtained the license to create Buffy the vampire slayer Disney comics in 2019, after its acquisition of Fox ended an earlier deal with Dark Horse—lent his support for SFWA, announcing that it would help affected writers liaise with Disney to claim the royalties owed to them.
The task force’s latest statement is a reminder that it’s not just writers that Disney contracts may have overlooked, and this is a fight in which workers, regardless of their position. relationship with the company, must stick together. “The #DisneyMustPay Working Group strives to ensure contracts are honored for all creators. This includes writers, actors, illustrators and other artists, ”the statement concluded. “Disney has a behavior that forces creators to go through unnecessary and tedious steps to receive agreed payments. They keep finding new ways to avoid paying people for their creativity and honoring their contracts. Disney needs to pay all creators for their work, and the joint #DisneyMustPay task force is leading the way in making sure that happens. “
As a reminder, the Walt Disney Company’s latest estimated net worth was $ 122.18 (that’s 122,100,000,000) billion.
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