Friday, 30 April 2021

Coalition of authors forms to resolve Disney royalty dispute

A few months ago, news broke that Disney was withholding royalty payments from Star Wars and Alien novelist Alan Dean Foster on what seemed like dubious grounds. After an intervention by the Science Fiction Writers of America and widespread publicity from the case, Disney seemingly backed down and reached a settlement with Foster, the details of which have not yet been revealed.

However, in the process of making the case public, dozens of other authors came forwards with reports that their own royalties had apparently not been paid, in some cases for years. The people affected include novelists and comic book writers on franchises including Star Wars as well as properties Disney has recently come into possession of via its acquisition of companies such as Marvel and 20th Century Fox, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Companies involved include Lucasfilm, Boom! Comics, Dark Horse Comics, 20th Century Fox, Marvel Worldwide and Disney Worldwide.

Many of these authors are much lower-profile than Foster, but their causes are just as valid. The SFWA has now teamed with organisations including the Author's Guild, Horror Writers Association, National Writers Union, Novelists, Inc., the Romance Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. High-profile author Neil Gaiman will take part in a joint taskforce also consisting of SFWA president Mary Robinette Kowal, bestselling novelist Tess Gerritsen and former Star Wars novel and comic writer Chuck Wendig.

The group have set up a website, Writers Must Be Paid, where those who believe they are owed many can register their complaints and seek assistance in getting redress. 

1 comment:

Jens said...

I really want to like Disney.
They have created so many wonderful films, shows, comics, etc.

But here they are behaving like absolute assholes, so much so that I don't want to phrase this in a more gentle way.