Updated: Nov 21, 2020
#DisneyMustPay has been trending on Twitter regarding a matter they tried to keep silent.
Disney has been trending and this time not in a good way. #DisneyMustPay has been trending on Twitter regarding a matter they tried to keep silent. However, thanks to the Grievance Committee of the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), Alan Dean Foster is being heard by the world. Foster is a notable writer of fantasy and science fiction and has requested Disney to pay him his royalties for the published work he has done prior to the acquisition of Lucasfilm and 20th Century Fox. Such books were STAR WARS, the novelization of the first film, SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE, the first sequel novel, both under Lucasfilm. ALIEN, ALIENS, and ALIENS 3 under 20th Century Fox.
The letter he had sent to Disney goes like this:
Dear Mickey, We have a lot in common, you and I. We share a birthday: November 18. My dad’s nickname was Mickey. There’s more. When you purchased Lucasfilm you acquired the rights to some books I wrote. STAR WARS, the novelization of the very first film. SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE, the first sequel novel. You owe me royalties on these books. You stopped paying them. When you purchased 20th Century Fox, you eventually acquired the rights to other books I had written. The novelizations of ALIEN, ALIENS, and ALIEN 3. You’ve never paid royalties on any of these, or even issued royalty statements for them. All these books are all still very much in print. They still earn money. For you. When one company buys another, they acquire its liabilities as well as its assets. You’re certainly reaping the benefits of the assets. I’d very much like my miniscule (though it’s not small to me) share. You want me to sign an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) before even talking. I’ve signed a lot of NDAs in my 50-year career. Never once did anyone ever ask me to sign one prior to negotiations. For the obvious reason that once you sign, you can no longer talk about the matter at hand. Every one of my representatives in this matter, with many, many decades of experience in such business, echo my bewilderment. You continue to ignore requests from my agents. You continue to ignore queries from SFWA, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. You continue to ignore my legal representatives. I know this is what gargantuan corporations often do. Ignore requests and inquiries hoping the petitioner will simply go away. Or possibly die. But I’m still here, and I am still entitled to what you owe me. Including not to be ignored, just because I’m only one lone writer. How many other writers and artists out there are you similarly ignoring? My wife has serious medical issues and in 2016 I was diagnosed with an advanced form of cancer. We could use the money. Not charity: just what I’m owed. I’ve always loved Disney. The films, the parks, growing up with the Disneyland TV show. I don’t think Unca Walt would approve of how you are currently treating me. Maybe someone in the right position just hasn’t received the word, though after all these months of ignored requests and queries, that’s hard to countenance. Or as a guy named Bob Iger said…. “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.” I’m not feeling it. Alan Dean Foster Prescott, AZ
After the committee had seen this the president herself, Mary Robinette Kowal, responded to resolve this immediate issue giving Disney only three options:
Pay Alan Dean Foster all back royalties as well as any future royalties.
Publication ceases until new contract(s) are signed, and pay all back royalties to Alan Dean Foster as well as any future royalties.
Publication ceases and pay all back royalties to Alan Dean Foster.
Mickey its time to pay
Seems to me like the Mouse needs to pay what they owe instead of pulling this shady underhanded move they were trying to do to Foster. I’m glad this was brought to the publics’ attention on the dishonesty that has been occurring. Who knows how many young artists and writers this could have happened to under Disney’s thrall. This is what happens when monopoly corporations such as Disney believe they are above the law and now we all know.
So now we play the waiting game and see how Disney is going to respond to this matter because it seems like they have only three poison’s to pick and these gents better chose the cup in front of them or the cup in front of the SFWA. It’s so inconceivable, isn’t it?
Disney must honor the contract that was stipulated prior to the acquisition or come to new terms nerds and nerdettes and they are in a no-win scenario from what I see.