For 100 years, The Walt Disney Company has been producing some of the greatest content entertainment has ever seen. From Steamboat Willie to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Frozen, Encanto, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, and so many more. When people think of classic movies, a lot of them think of Disney movies. None of these films would have been possible without the incredible teams that work tirelessly behind the scenes. However, each movie starts with an idea, and then talented writers flesh out those ideas. They bring incredible ideas to life.
Those amazing writers are now on strike. On May 2, the WGA — Writers Guild of America — announced that its 11,500 members were striking and would stop working immediately. The issue at the heart of the strike? Streaming services. According to the WGA, studios are creating mini writers’ rooms, where the writers work for shorter stints. Writers that have created shows are making the same as writers who are brand-new to the industry. Studios are increasingly relying on paying the Guild minimum, while their profits continue to increase. Essentially, writers are claiming that the new streaming industry is destroying their livelihoods.
One person who is standing by the writers, and calling out the poor compensation, is Abigail Disney. Disney is the granddaughter of Roy O. Disney and the great-niece of Walt Disney. Ms. Disney shared a video, supporting the writers, saying that they need to be properly compensated for their hard work.
This is a great explainer if you want to learn more about this writer’s strike. It is so important that people are compensated properly for their work. Increasing profits means that that is possible, but decreasing purchasing power means that executives simply won’t do it
This is a great explainer if you want to learn more about this writer's strike. It is so important that people are compensated properly for their work. Increasing profits means that that is possible, but decreasing purchasing power means that executives simply won't do it https://t.co/tQltaqLEd8
— Abigail Disney (@abigaildisney) May 2, 2023
This is not the first time that Ms. Disney has called out studios — including Disney — for putting profits over people. While Ms. Disney is not a key player within The Walt Disney Company, she is still a shareholder and an active critic. When Disney was still run by Bob Chapek, Ms. Disney tried to launch a campaign to reduce Chapek’s paycheck. Ms. Disney didn’t feel Chapek deserved the tens of millions in compensation he was receiving after he repeatedly dropped the ball and failed to properly run the company.
Ms. Disney has also made a documentary, targeting Disney and the fairy tale dreams that they sell. The American Dream and Other Fairy Tales focuses on employees who work for The Walt Disney Company. These employees give it their all, but they can’t pay their bills and rely on public assistance because Disney doesn’t pay them enough to live. Surveys have shown that more than half of Disneyland Cast Members struggled with food insecurity, and nearly a third were homeless at some point while working for the House of Mouse.
There is no word on how long the writers are expected to strike. However, they have said that Hollywood would remain shut down until they are paid the fair wages that they feel they have earned.