Disney Scamming Crew Out of Money with Daredvil: Born Again

Daredevil: Born Again is a cash grab in more ways than one. Steven DeKnight, the showrunner of Daredevil’s first season following Drew Goddard’s departure after episode 4 (and, back when used his middle initial, a writer on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel, as was Goddard), recently retweeted and confirmed some details about how streaming television pay works and the dirty tricks Disney is pulling to keep from paying creatives more than they’d like. The initial tweets are from someone claiming to be a member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees who worked on “all of the Marvel Netflix shows.” The tweets are below, but in summation, the contracts for crew members on Netflix’s Marvel shows stipulated that they would get vacation days and a raise in pay starting with season 3 of a series, which, DeKnight says, is why the shows were canceled after season 2 or 3, depending on how successful they were. Now, Disney is bringing back Daredevil, but it’s packaging it as a new show with a new title, meaning this is technically season 1 of Daredevil: Born Again instead of season 4 of Daredevil, despite the presence of Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio. That means the contracts with any new or returning crew go back to season 1 status, not season 4, where they’d get more money and vacation time.

DeKnight also makes clear that this is Disney’s doing, not Netflix’s:

I’m sure this is part of it. Disney, despite throwing money around like a drunken sailor of late, doesn’t like to pay individuals much, especially lowly crew members. If they can save a nickel, they will, and I don’t doubt this shell game to get out of giving their workers raises and vacation time factored into the decision to turn Daredevil into a “new show.” That Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson aren’t coming back is proof of that; Disney wants to pay as few high-priced actors as they can, and while we’re not talking Tom Cruise or anything, they’re established as important Daredevil characters and could negotiate some nice deals for their returns. Also note that Daredevil: Born Again has new writers and showrunners, and they don’t sound like they’re in a position to command the salary of someone like Steven DeKnight or season 2’s Doug Petrie (another Buffy alum who wrote some fantastic, underrated episodes, and records quite an entertaining DVD commentary). But I don’t think this is the sole reason for some of the annoying things Disney is doing; they’ve got this arrogant need to put their stamp on the things they acquire, like how they got one of the She-Hulk writers into the Deadpool 3 wrtiers’ room with the original scribes. And Born Again is supposed to have a different, more Disney-friendly tone, with more comedy and less darkness. (I’d bet on Matt Murdock’s Catholicism going bye-bye too.) But screwing people out of money is, at the very least, a nice bonus, I’m sure.

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