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Open Letter to Disney 


Dear Disney,


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

Neil Gaiman

Tess Gerritsen

Lee Goldberg

Mary Robinette Kowal

Chuck Wendig



Are You Owed Money?

Creators may be missing royalty statements and/or checks for media tie-in work across a wide range of properties in prose, comics, or graphic novels. Since Disney’s acquisition of the rights to those properties, creators’ contracts with previous licensees have not been honored for the ongoing and reprint publication of media tie-in works.   

You may be affected if you’ve written for the following properties. This list is incomplete and based on properties for which we have verified reports of missing statements and royalties. 

•    LucasFilm (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, etc.)
•    Boom! Comics (Licensed comics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.)
•    Dark Horse Comics (Licensed comics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.)
•    20th Century Fox (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alien, etc.)
•    Marvel WorldWide (SpiderMan, Predator)
•    Disney Worldwide Publishing (Buffy, Angel)

For LucasFilm and 20th Century Fox, we've confirmed reports of reprintings without the author receiving notification, updated royalty statements, or payment. Publishers of those reprints include:


​​•    Boom! Comics (Licensed comics including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, etc.)
•    Titan Publishing UK (Licensed novels including Alien/Predator)
•    Marvel WorldWide (SpiderMan, Alien/Predator)
•    Disney Worldwide Publishing (Buffy, Angel)

We’ve also identified two sources of the previously published materials from their former licensees. We can confirm that works previously published by these former licensees are now being reprinted by Disney. 

  • Dark Horse Comics (Former licensee. Previously published tie-in comics, graphic novels, and novels including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Alien, Predator, AVP, Star Wars, etc.)

  • Byron Preiss/iBooks (Former licensee. Previously published tie-in novels including Marvel characters now owned/published by Disney)

If you are an affected author who has not been paid or are missing royalty statements, you have the right to ensure your contract(s) are honored. We urge all creators to review their statements regularly and recommend that affected creators fill out this form, hosted by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA, Inc.). We guarantee anonymity.

Please note that you do not need an agent or membership in any professional organization to seek help from the task force. 


  • An Open Letter to Disney published by The Disney Must Pay Task Force

  • The Task Force informs the members of their organizations that creators are not being notified by Disney, much less paid for, the reprintings of their media tie-in works, in addition to ongoing publications. Dark Horse is in preliminary conversations to discuss this issue with some of the affected creators.

  • The #DisneyMustPay Task Force issues a letter of support for Scarlett Johansson's suit against Disney regarding her Black Widow contract.

  • The #DisneyMustPay Task Force expands its focus to include all creators of comics and graphic novelists, not solely writers. Illustrators, letterers, and other artists are encouraged to report any contractual grievance.

  • Alan Dean Foster, James Kahn, and Donald F. Glut, the novelization authors of the original Star Wars trilogy, have resolved their royalties’ issues and will be paid by Disney. Over a dozen lower-profile authors are still waiting on Disney to respond.

  • The media is paying attention. To find out what they're saying, visit our press page.


The #Disney Must Pay Task Force is working to ensure that creators receive the royalties and statements they are owed for their media tie-in works. The November 2020 press conference below provides background on the first case brought to our attention and the foundational copyright law issues at stake.

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