In another of my periodic updates on the #DisneyMustPay initiative, below is the open letter that the #DisneyMustPay Task Force posted this morning.
(For more information on this important initiative, see my September 2021 post: #DisneyMustPay Update: Disney Is Still Not Paying.)
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.
The #DisneyMustPay Task Force
Mary Robinette Kowal