Musicians Demonstrate Against Disney

September 28, 2019

By Stephanie West

New York, NY – Musicians rallied outside the 92nd Street Y—while Disney CEO Bob Iger talked with Oprah Winfrey inside the building. The musicians were calling on Iger to pay musicians fairly.

Musicians have been negotiating a new contract with Disney and other major studios including CBS, MGM, Paramount, NBCUniversal Sony, and Warner Bros for over two years. The main area of dispute is streaming residuals. Actors, directors, musicians, and writers have traditionally received a small portion of revenue from the films and television shows they work on. Disney continues to pay actors, writers, and directors for streaming work but refuses to pay musicians for streaming.

“I can’t believe that Disney is making billions of dollars, but won’t even pay me fairly. Playing for weddings actually pays better than working on a multi-million dollar Disney project. How can Bob Iger claim to value decency over dollars when the musicians who score his films and television shows are struggling to pay the rent,” said Adriana Molello, a violinist.
“Every other group of artists that work on Disney streaming projects receives fair residuals. These residuals are vital to the livelihoods of freelance musicians. They allow us to maintain a basic income and do the creative work necessary of artists,” said Ray Mason, a trombonist, and composer

 Disney earned an estimated $59.43 billion last year, but refuse to negotiate with the American Federation of Musicians for a fair contract.

September 28, 2019

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