The time Disney duped Robin Williams


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That Genie may seem big in that poster but it probably consists of only 24.99% of the image area.


So he got paid $1,075,000 to do a film – more than many will be paid in their lifetime for 2 months of work – there was some disagreement about some contractual terms, but there wasn’t a written contract anyway. He was in a huff about this for 2 years before coming back to do another film.

I’m not quite sure what I’m supposed to take away from this? Superstar actor acts like a spoiled kid? Boring, inconsequential story is boring & inconsequential?

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The only surprise with this story is that Disney treats its biggest stars the same way it treats the rest of its creative talent. Disney is famous for paying late and nickel-and-diming their talent.
I can totally understand RW refusing to work for a company he felt he couldn’t trust. Acting like a spoiled kid is different from simply refusing to do business with a company you don’t like. He’s one of the few “talent” whom they needed more than he needed them. Good for him taking a stand.


I suspect the take away is that Disney was a dishonest dealer long before they held a near-monopoly on childhood entertainment. Also, that they crossed one of the bigger money makers in Hollywood in the heyday of his career.


Yay, let’s use Robin Williams’ death as an excuse to rehash a 20-year old story.

Hey, I remember seeing your avatar on almost every ride I went on at Disney World a few weeks ago…


I always call it the “no jive dancing on this ride” warning label.


Are you privy to some information not presented in the article, or did you pull “£1,075,000” out of your posterior? 'Cause the number cited in the article is $75.000 - certainly far above minimum wage, but not “more than many will be paid in their lifetime” (assuming that those many live in North America, of course.)

Seems to me that your point is “as long as you get enough money to keep you off the streets, you should be GRATEFUL that a huge corporation spits on the contract they signed with you! You could be starving to death somewhere, so look on the bright side!” Which is a lovely attitude, but won’t hold up in court.

Edit: I guess you’re including the value of the Picasso peace offering a year later. Lovely gesture; doesn’t excuse the fact that he agreed to work WAY under value and provided the heart and soul of a movie that made them boatloads of money - and they still disregarded their word. He went into the deal in good faith; they didn’t.


Also, a million bucks isn’t a million quid.


Technically, the terms they spit on were verbally agreed upon, not part of a contact, but…

Curious to learn that at least one good thing came out of the departure of Katzenberg after reading the various tales of the rise of Michael Eisner.

I’m not sure I understand how not using Williams’ name or large images of the Genie would have been remotely beneficial to improving ticket sales for Toys, however. Was he thinking that dragging down one movie would boost the performance of an entirely different movie?

I consider it ‘no dancing on this couch.’ But, yes @thekaz , it’s half of the sign you see all over Disney.

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In which way aren terms two parties verbally agreed on not a contract?

Because, I’m pretty sure that you enter such verbally-agreed-on contracts on a daily basis.


Verbal contract. Or does your word mean nothing?

Yes, I took my business law classes and vaguely remember going over definitions of a contract. Probably should have used the term “oral contract”. You got me. Congrats.

Of course, in informal discussions, most people refer to a written contract when they say contract… at this point, I suppose, you and I both have the same knowledge of the original posters intent in using the term “contract”…

That being said, if it truly was an oral contract, then it is his word v. Disney’s. And not that I am here to defend Disney, but in the court of public opinion, it is clear who would win (that, I suppose with the fact that Disney doesn’t appear to have denied it).

No, I agree completely. I guess the lesson here is make sure you get it in writing with big corporations…


That was my thought exactly. I wouldn’t surprise me at all if Disney reneged on a verbal agreement but, this image isn’t it.

I just whipped up a quick pixel count. The Genie takes up 13.82% of the pixels. (Thats not counting the glow and the objects obstructing his body). Well under 25%.

Even eyeballing it, once masked out, it doesn’t look so big:


I’m thinking the same thing about you. Is the answer that you would automatically genuflect in front of your employer?
BTW, it was 75K.

Nah, the lesson is to get everything that’s business and not charity in writing. At least when its about something you care about. Even when working with friends.

I can assure you, the ones who honor a verbal contract are okay with signing a written one, the ones who act offended won’t be your friends anymore once you’ve taken them to court because they owe you six figures worth of work. Even if they walk away scot free and with your money, because you couldn’t back up that verbal agreement.

And it’s not like that you have to enforce that contract when the other party falls on hard times.