Hulu logo and Disney+ logo together.

Disney Has Enough Money To Buy All of Hulu but Not to Fairly Compensate Workers

$8.6 billion!

Disney already owned most of Hulu’s shares, but now, it’s set to acquire the entire platform—for a whopping $8.6 billion—from Comcast. The Walt Disney Co. will purchase a 33% stake in the company, giving them full ownership of the streaming service.

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As reported by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Disney merely sees this move as a way to “further” their own “streaming objectives,” which is all well and good, but if Disney has that much to spare to buy out Hulu, why haven’t they been able to pay their workers a fair wage?

Recently, it was revealed that Disney theme park workers had launched a class action lawsuit against Disney that alleged the company had failed to pay them living wages since 2019. In the end, it was ruled that Disney must pay their workers in accordance with the 2018 Living Wages Ordinance (LWO).

Earlier this year, VFX workers from Walt Disney Pictures filed for unionization shortly after Marvel Studios’ VFX workers also voted to unionize. VFX creatives have been working longer hours under stricter deadlines without union protections. This leaves many VFX employees susceptible to labor abuses, like not being granted overtime pay and meal penalties.

Disney, and many other studios, have made excuses for their choices before, claiming that it simply isn’t affordable to give employees proper payment and benefits. Workers and creatives in the entertainment industry end up working for less than they’re worth because the companies claim pay cuts will happen anyway, and outsourcing the work isn’t difficult.

But others in the creative industry, such as the performers that participated in the nearly concluded SAG-AFTRA strikes, or the writers who refused to back down until their demands and protections were given to them during the WGA strikes, have shown that the studios can and will compensate them fairly by proving their worth. Without actors, writers, VFX workers and theme park attendants, Disney’s business would collapse.

Most things that are worth fighting for aren’t easy. If Disney can buy a streaming service for $8.6 billion after having claimed for months that there’s simply no more money to be found for creatives, it just shows how necessary and historic these strikes have been.

(featured image: Hulu/Disney+)

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Vanessa Esguerra
Vanessa Esguerra (She/They) has been a Contributing Writer for The Mary Sue since 2023. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy, she (happily) rejected law school in 2021 and has been a full-time content writer since. Vanessa is currently taking her Master's degree in Japanese Studies in hopes of deepening her understanding of the country's media culture in relation to pop culture, women, and queer people like herself. She speaks three languages but still manages to get lost in the subways of Tokyo with her clunky Japanese. Fueled by iced coffee brewed from local cafés in Metro Manila, she also regularly covers anime and video games while queuing for her next match in League of Legends.