Lately more and more information regarding a large wage-fixing scandal in the animation world have emerged. It began with large companies such as Apple and Google, but it was revealed that the entertainment industry, and in particular the animation industry were very much going along the same path. The biggest studios such as Disney, Dreamworks and Pixar were involved, whereas the only studio seeming to not follow this illegal activity was Sony Animation.
In reading up on this, I quickly became very disappointed in some of the industry leaders that I hold to such high esteem. Ed Catmull, famous for pioneering much of the 3D animation world that we know today, as well as helping to lead Pixar to become such a success, was at the center of this scandal as revealed in many emails he sent. Having such an innovator and idol involved in such a large and damaging wage fixing scandal was extremely disappointing. He has actively worked to create a no-competition environment, meaning less pay and less work for animators like myself so that the studio can incur less financial strain. Were free capitalism allowed to reign, wages would likely go up, and price points would eventually even out.
This has been a large issue in the past in the film industry, and this is why such strong unions emerged within that industry. Does this mean unionization of animators will become stronger and more aggressive? It's always a fine balance, and I must admit unions often overstep their bounds when they get power-hungry, but the same can be said for the large corporations as is evidence in this scandal. I can only hope that this coming to the forefront will work to rectify this issue, and hopefully bring about some freedom and fairness in the workplace. The big issue: these agreements are not written in contract, and the large companies can continue to "not compete" if they actively make that decision. Will this lawsuit actually change the business side of things, or will it only bring awareness to the problem at hand? Will unions have to become aggressive and step in? Only time will tell!
Some source material: http://www.cartoonbrew.com/business/pixars-ed-catmull-emerges-as-central-figure-in-the-wage-fixing-scandal-101362.html