On a day of the striking writers leafleting at the World of Disney (NYSE: DIS) store in Manhattan, Disney has struck back on some claims. Union leaflets stated that the company has projected $1.5 billion in digital revenue, and suggest that the writers’ share of that is zero. Disney immediately rejected those claims, reports Reuters. It said: “The WGA leadership is deliberately distorting the facts…more than half of Disney’s digital revenues are from sales of travel packages and the vast majority of the rest is from online advertising on sites like Disney.com and ESPN.com and through online merchandise sales. The WGA also knows its members have been paid residuals on entertainment content downloaded via iTunes…Deliberately misleading the public is not the best way to resolve this issue and get Hollywood back to work.”
Meanwhile, in a related story, WSJ reports on online entertainment/video sites trying to lure striking writers over to create original content for them. Break.com is actively trying to recruit out-of-work Hollywood scribes. “Striking writers: Strike Gold on Break!” says a pitch on its homepage. Meanwhile, Spark Capital, the Boston-based VC firm with investments that include online entertainment (NextNew Networks, Veoh and others), is heading to Los Angeles this week to meet with a handful of disgruntled writers, the story says.
However, these companies may have trouble recruiting WGA members, largely because of confusion over what writers may and may not do while on strike. We outlined some of the issues in this post here.