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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Recycled urine? I'm kidding. It's not fully recycled. I'm tinkering with that. I also have Pom."
11980 members | you are not logged in | 23 October 2018


October 10 2016

Why Dolly Parton gave Gail Berman a cheque for Buffy royalties over lunch. Dolly owns Sandollar Productions and sometime in the late 90s she "had been unhappy to discover that men at the company had given Ms. Berman a less-than-generous share of "Buffy" royalties."

I didn't think I could love Dolly Parton more, but now I do.
It is a really nice story. I was pleased to come across that.
Don't these people have contracts? Either Berman was owed more than she had gotten or she wasn't. If she wasn't there'd be no reason for "the men" to pay her any more. If she was, both sides screwed up. Sandollar for not fulfilling their obligations and Berman for not keeping tabs on her financials. In this case, an argument can also be made, that Parton simply tried to forestall a potential lawsuit against her company.

And why were it only the men in the company who potentially paid Berman too little? Did the women fall asleep? Were they busy making coffee (apparently it's a thing)? Or did Parton forget to hire them?
It's possible for contracts to be negotiated based on sexist assumptions, believe it or not! Parton clearly didn't legally owe Berman money -- she decided that Berman's role in Buffy's development was worth more than what she'd been paid for it. It was a moral decision.
There is a difference between "the men at the company" and "men at the company", which is what the article says. I guess maybe she negotiated her contract with men.
What a heart-warming story.
I'm glad to hear this story, though sad that it happened. It sounds like Berman's contract was on unfair terms, which is disheartening though very believable. Or it could be that her royalties were being calculated dishonestly - there are all sorts of shenanigans that can go on to whittle the profits away before the royalty percentage is taken out.

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