Two dozen L.A. musicians picketed Marvel Studios in Manhattan Beach on Friday to protest the fact that Disney-Marvel’s blockbuster “The Avengers” was scored in London, depriving U.S. musicians of jobs even though the movie was made stateside.
It was the second time in five months that the American Federation of Musicians called out a Hollywood studio for depriving U.S. musicians of salaries and benefits despite filming in the U.S. AFM picketed Lionsgate in January over the London scoring of “The Hunger Games.”
AFM president Ray Hair, who led the demonstration, made clear the action was not a “labor dispute” but rather an attempt to call public attention to a “fairness issue.”
Shooting “The Avengers” in North Carolina and Ohio resulted in $30 million in tax rebates, Hair said. “They banked $30 million, ran overseas and exported U.S. jobs,” he said. “Marvel and Disney took care of everybody else who worked on the movie, but they didn’t take care of musicians, and that’s unfair.”
Marvel and Disney spokesmen were unavailable for comment on Friday.
Musicians handed out leaflets stating that “actors, writers, directors, stage crew and other workers up and down the line were all compensated fairly for their work on ‘The Avengers.’ But when the time came to record the film’s music score… they headed straight to Europe and hired foreign musicians under the table and on the cheap.”
They carried signs with such slogans as “U.S. Tax Breaks = Foreign Workers? Really?” and “Real Superheroes Buy American.” One musician was costumed as Captain America.