Ezra Acayan, a photojournalist for the wire service Getty Images, exposed the stinginess of the network owned by bilyonaryo Felipe Gozon after he was asked by a researcher from “Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho,” for permission to use photos from his coverage of Typhoon Ulysses for their show airing November 15.
“We hope you could waive fees if there are any, rest assured that due acknowledgements will be given,” the researcher told Acayan through a private message on Facebook, which he shared on social media.
Acayan, who was named one of Tatler Asia’s “Leaders of Tomorrow” for 2020, said in a now viral Facebook post: “GMA News GMA Public Affairs I’m done being nice. This is the nth time your producers approached me asking for free pictures, and I’m sure you practice the same on other photographers and content creators.”
The photographer said GMA Network’s “predatory practice” has to end.
“Your programs that have ‘local and international airing’ with ‘online platforms and multiple replays’ make millions, so why can’t you offer to pay photographers? Many photographers invest their own time, equipment, and expenses, and put themselves in danger to produce these pictures. Madaming photographer abonado na tapos kakarampot lang bayad sakanila, tapos kayo gusto niyo free lang?” he said.
Acayan said there’s no reason for GMA to scrimp on paying photographers considering the revenue they make. The network’s profit jumped by 4 percent to P1.4 billion in the first half of 2020 as its expenses dropped due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Just to give you an idea of how much money this network is making, their two YouTube channels alone have a combined following of 33.4 million followers raking in tens of billions of views. A billion views is worth more or less $1,000,000 (yes dollars),” Acayan tweeted.
GMA has yet to respond to Acayan.