A California elementary school has faced criticism after showing the 2019 remake of “The Lion King” during a fundraiser. A $250 fine was issued by the licensing company for the showing, but the school says it has apologized. Disney’s chairman, Bob Iger, responded to the criticism on Twitter. He said he regrets the incident and hopes that the school will learn from the incident.
After learning of the controversy surrounding the movie, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger apologized to the Emerson Elementary PTA and agreed to waive the $250 licensing fee. The story has gained national attention, and donations have poured in for the school. Berkeley City Councilwoman Lori Droste has also called on people to donate to the school.
The $250 movie screening fee was first reported by the Berkeleyside website. It goes beyond licensing fees. The fee is so high that some parents believe Disney is taking advantage of Berkeley schoolchildren. However, Droste said Disney’s licensing fee is unfair, since the school’s property tax rates are the same as they were in 1978.
Regardless of the reason for the fine, parents at Emerson Elementary are still upset. They say the screening of the movie is a violation of the copyright law. However, the PTA was able to raise more than $800 through the event. As a result, they will be able to pay for teachers’ salaries and the financial scholarships of Emerson students.
The PTA at Emerson has contacted the principal of the school to learn more about the situation. The school has received the notice from Movie Licensing USA. However, critics argue that the law has made it hard for public school districts to raise enough funds to license films. In the meantime, Disney is making millions of dollars on the backs of the public school system.
The PTA has also been in contact with Movie Licensing USA, which represents major movie studios, in an attempt to make sure that schools show the movie legally. The licensing manager cited copyright laws and pointed out that the school should consider paying $536 a year for a license. Discounts are also available for multi-year agreements.
A city councilwoman from Berkeley has been involved in the fight. She has two children attending Emerson elementary. She’s used to arguing with the PTA, but this fight has now taken a different form, focusing on a bigger issue. Parents are now calling the PTA and making contributions for her children’s school.