Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Is Hollywood Cruel to Writers?

Maria Van Trapp sold away the rights to her memoir for only $9,000 and didn’t reap any of the profits from the enormously successful “Sound of Music.” She had to watch from her mountaintop home in Stowe, Vermont as the producers of the musical and movie made millions. She never got over it.

While giving away prose to the movies for nothing may not be Michael Chabon’s problem, (see below) it apparently afflicts other writers. Poor Deborah Gregory. Her bestselling series Cheetah Girls was made into two Disney movies, with a third on the way, and the Disney merchandise machine spewed out dolls, toothbrushes, video games, etc.

How much has Gregory reaped? A mere $125,000.

Hollywood is cruel to its writers.

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