Over the past couple of days, you may have read a news story involving Emerson Elementary School in Berkeley, CA being fined $250 by a licensing company that represents Disney for showing a privately owned DVD of The Lion King at a fundraising event.
The evening was intended to be a fun pizza and movie night put on by the PTA where students were allowed and encouraged to wear pajamas and bring a blanket for $15 to raise much-needed funds for the school – although no child would be denied entry if they couldn’t bring the $15.
Somehow, a licensing company that represents Disney caught wind of the film being shown and issued a $250 fine to the school to pay for a screening license.
The school reportedly raised $800 that evening and to hand $250 of it over to a large corporate company did not sit well.
Word of this fine was made public and there was an uproar on many forms of social media about the issue.
A representative from the school even stated:
Who wants to hear an unbelievable story about how Disney is essentially fining Berkeley’s Emerson Elementary School PTA $250 while reaping millions of dollars through a corporate loophole that has decimated public schools across California?
Until today, Disney had not publicly responded to the outcry. Bob Iger not only apologized for the incident but stated that he will make a personal donation toward their fundraising efforts.
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