Musicians Leaflet Outside ABC’s ‘Jimmy Kimmel Show’ in TV/Film Contract Fight; Bandleader Cleto Escobedo III Gives Support

HOLLYWOOD, CA (Oct. 15, 2019) — On Tuesday, musicians who record the music for film and television shows distributed informational leaflets about their grassroots #BandTogether campaign outside ABC Studios’ “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” show on Hollywood Boulevard.

Musicians working on late-night, award, and other live television shows, as well as the musicians who score for television and films, are fighting to be paid residuals for streaming.

As TV and film production move to supply streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu and Disney+, major entertainment companies including Disney/ABC, CBSViacom, MGM, NBCUniversal, Sony, and Warner Media are refusing to provide fair compensation to musicians. Very profitable companies like Disney, which earned an estimated $59.43 billion last year, are demanding that musicians take huge cuts — yet the studios maintain that there is no money available for musicians.

“Recording musicians, like actors, writers, and directors, rely on profit sharing to stabilize income from a notoriously unstable source: the entertainment industry,” said Joel Pargman, violinist. “In some years this can be 50-75% of our total income. Producers were willing to make a streaming residuals deal with SAG-AFTRA, WGA and DGA, but want to exclude the musical artists who contribute so much to the soul of a show or film. We are asking for respect for our art, and for a wage model that allows us to keep living and working in our own cities.”

The #BandTogether movement has earned support from leading industry professionals, including “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” bandleader Cleto Escobedo III. “I stand with my sister and brother musicians and fully support actions to gain a fair contract in streaming media,” Escobedo said.

Additional supporters include Quincy Jones, J.J. Abrams, Pinar Toprak, Randy Newman, Hans Zimmer, Justin Hurwitz, Damien Chazelle, John Williams, and many more.