Disney boss Bob Iger says sorry after school received fine for screening 'The Lion King'

Ben Arnold
·2-min read
The Lion King (Credit: Disney)
The Lion King (Credit: Disney)

Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, has personally apologised to a school in Berkeley, California, after it received a fine for screening the remake of The Lion King for a fundraising event.

The elementary school was billed $250 for showing the film without the correct permissions by Disney's licensing company, a fair-sized chunk of the $800 it raised for the PTA.

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Iger tweeted an apology to Emerson Elementary, and also said that he would be making a donation to its fundraising initiative.

CNN reported the news of the school receiving the fine, after it bought a physical copy of the 2019 CGI remake of the animated classic and showed it at the 'parents night out' fundraiser.

“One of the dads bought the movie at Best Buy,” PTA president David Rose told CNN. “He owned it. We literally had no idea we were breaking any rules.”

Not long after the event, the school was contacted by licensing firm Movie Licensing USA, which enforces such matters for Disney and other film companies.

Robert Iger, Chief Executive Officer of Disney, attends the 25th Television Academy Hall of Fame on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 at the Television Academy's Saban Media Center in North Hollywood, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Bob Iger (Credit: Jordan Strauss/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)

“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 from the company.

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“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.”

Movie Licensing USA said it had been alerted to the breach of copyright, but did not say how.