The Writers Guild of America West is not entertained at the possibility of seeing Doctor Doom in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Instead, the labor union that represents television and film writers in Hollywood and Southern California is looking at the broader implications of the Disney-Fox sale. The WGAW today released a statement condemning the sale of key 21st Century Fox assets to Disney.
“In the relentless drive to eliminate competition, big business has an insatiable appetite for consolidation. Disney and Fox have spent decades profiting from the oligopolistic control that the six major media conglomerates have exercised over the entertainment industry, often at the expense of the creators who power their television and film operations. Now, this proposed merger of direct competitors will make matters even worse by substantially increasing the market power of a combined Disney-Fox corporation. The antitrust concerns raised by this deal are obvious and significant. The Writers Guild of America West strongly opposes this merger and will work to ensure our nation’s antitrust laws are enforced.”
The Disney-Fox media sale is one of the largest if its kind, though it is dwarfed by the AOL-Time Warner sale back in 2000. AOL purchased Time Warner for $164 billion then. Today, Disney announced its intent to purchase key assets from Fox, including the film right to the Fantastic Four and X-Men, as well as a controlling interest in the Hulu streaming service, for $52.4 billion.
It’s not surprising the WGAW isn’t onboard with the sale. The labor union is constantly working to negotiate better rates and working conditions for writers, a task that becomes more difficult when fewer companies are at the table.