‘Misleading’: Animation studio in viral post over exploitative practices opens up

September 24, 2019 - 6:41 PM
Top Draw - Office
Top Draw Animation said the animator who accused its officials of exhibiting supposed exploitative practices never became their employee. (Photo from Top Draw Animation website)

The local animation studio tagged in a viral post by an animator who accused them of exploitative practices revealed its side of the story and clarified that the individual was never an employee of the company.

Top Draw Animation in a statement called the accusations “misleading” and “inaccurate” and stressed that Raf Dla, the animator who shared a controversial post on Facebook, was not a regular employee.

“The individual who initiated those posts is known to us. He entered a training agreement with the company in 2018 and NEVER became an employee of the company,” the company said.

“The individual received the benefits of expensive expert trainers, superior curriculum and state of the art equipment over the training period but proved to be uncooperative and refused to follow instructions,” it added.

Top Draw said that it “extended” Raf’s training period at its expense but claimed that he “continued to display a poor attitude.”

“The company chose not to pursue the legal recourse available to it within the training agreement and, despite investing heavily in the individual, made the rare decision to end training without a subsequent offer of employment,” the studio said.

It ended its statement by saying that it “continues to support the Filipino artists.”

“Top Draw is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that believes in and supports Filipino artists and their extended families by delivering the most competitive and progressive remuneration and social benefits package of any available in the Philippines Animation industry today,” it said.

This statement is made in connection to recent misleading and inaccurate online, social media posts directed at the…

Posted by Top Draw Animation on Monday, September 23, 2019


Filipinos who have been following the issue criticized Top Draw’s statement and pointed out that the studio was not able to directly address payment allegations which were the main assertion of Raf’s Facebook post.

READ: Pinoy animator’s viral post on alleged exploitation triggers calls for industry overhaul

“The ‘press release’ is dripping with PR doublespeak and lies by omission. They never address the pay situation at all,” a particular Facebook user commented.

“And still, this statement is about the PERSON who posted, not about his ISSUE,” another user said.

Another Facebook user who claimed to know other people who previously cut ties with the company commented they have problems of being “underpaid” and “overworked.”

“Marami akong kilalang artist tumakas sa Top Draw. Basta marami sila underpaid, overwork,” he alleged.

Another Filipino mentioned that Top Draw has no “legal precedence” if it stated that the accuser was “never” under its employment.

The user quoted some parts of the company’s statement which read:

“He entered a training agreement with the company in 2018 and NEVER became an employee of the company.”

“The company chose not to pursue the legal recourse available to it within the training agreement and…” 

In response, the user said, “You don’t have legal precedence over someone who was never your employee, especially not with regards to employment bonds. Please don’t make stuff up.”

Another user suggested that the Department of Labor and Employment should look into Top Draw “to prove its innocence or accountability.”

Another Filipino also claimed she will share pictures of her contract with the company if it doesn’t fix its statement about the issue at hand.

“Hi, Top Draw. Remember me? Haha baka mag-viral ‘to, ayusin n’yo mga statements niyo dahil may mga papel ako panlaban (diyan),” she commented.

“Also, please try to resist from erasing my post. ‘Pag nawala to, trust me, ilalagay ko na lang sa post ng We the Pvblic ‘yung picture ng contract ko. Cute siya, pramis,” the user added.

Top Draw was previously accused of alleged exploitative practices by an animator who claimed that he was fired for “asking for proper compensation.”

His post has since prompted other Filipino animators and artists to open up about their experiences in the animation industry.