News broke earlier this week that The Walt Disney Company had sent a bill to Emerson Elementary School in Berkeley, California, charging the school a licensing fee for screening last year's remake of The Lion King without permission. The school hosted a "parents night out" back in November and showed The Lion King, which had been purchased by a parent for the event, to a large crowd. Disney got word of what had happened and asked the school to pay $250. The story has since made national news and plenty of people have called out Disney for charging the school. Disney CEO Bob Iger is now speaking up about the issue, apologizing for everything that has happened so far.
Iger took to Twitter on Thursday and offered an apology to Emerson Elementary's Parent-Teacher Association. He also promised to donate some of his own money to the school's fund raising, in order to make up for the headache.
"Our company [The Walt Disney Company] apologizes to the Emerson Elementary School PTA and I will personally donate to their fund raising initiative," Iger wrote in a tweet.
Our company @WaltDisneyCo apologizes to the Emerson Elementary School PTA and I will personally donate to their fund raising initiative.— Robert Iger (@RobertIger) February 6, 2020
The parents night out event was a fundraiser for the school and reportedly raised $800. The PTA was understandably frustrated that some of that hard-earned money would have to be sent back to Disney.
"It's just so appalling that an incredibly wealthy corporation ... is having its licensing agents chase after a PTA having to raise insane amounts of money just to pay teachers, cover financial scholarships and manage school programs," Berkeley City Council member Lori Droste told CNN after the bill arrived. "We would be enthusiastic about paying the license fee if Disney was willing to have their properties reassessed and pay some additional property taxes."2comments
Iger is now looking to right the situation and keep the school from having to pay any fees for The Lion King. That should settle that.
The Lion King is now streaming for free on Disney+ so it probably won't be an issue in the future.
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