The elementary school was fined $250 by Disney’s licensing company for showing the popular film at a fundraising event that raised $800, according to CNN. Faculty and parents took to the school’s PTA Facebook page on Feb. 4 asking the public for help to “offset” the fine and a link to donate.
Iger apologized for the fine on behalf of Disney via Twitter, and promised to personally donate to the school’s fundraising initiative.
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
In an email obtained by CNN from Movie Licensing USA, a movie shown outside of the home is considered illegal and anyone showing it in public needs legal permission.
“Any time movies are shown without the proper license, copyright law is violated and the entity showing the movie can be fined by the studios,” read the statement. “If a movie is shown for any entertainment reason — even in the classroom, it is required by law that the school obtains a Public Performance license.”
One of the PTA presidents, David Rose, told CNN that another parent bought the movie at a Best Buy and had no idea that they were “breaking any rules” when they screened the animated film.
It’s unclear as to how the company found out the school was playing the movie except that they “received an alert” that “The Lion King” was shown at the “parent’s night out” fundraiser.
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