Friday, January 11, 2008

Another Production Company Signs Pact With Writers


David Letterman's Worldwide Pants
Tom Cruise's United Artists
Harvey Weinsteins' The Weinstein Co.

These three independent production companies have agreed to the writers' demands and are now back in production.

General Electric (NBC), Viacom (CBS), Disney (ABC), Time Warner (HBO), and News Corporation (FOX) have no writers.

The Weinstein Co. is the third to sign a pact and I congratulate them for their forward thinking.
Weinstein Co. signs interim pact with WGA
By Claudia Eller
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
January 10, 2008

The Weinstein Co. is the latest movie outfit to sign an interim deal with the Writers Guild of America, co-founder Harvey Weinstein confirmed in an interview this morning.

The agreement, which is expected to be announced later today, mirrors the pacts that the union recently signed with United Artists -- an independent company controlled by Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner -- and with David Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants Inc.

Such deals allow companies to hire union writers for their movie and television projects during the strike, which has been underway since early November.

Read more . . .

It is time for the big companies to come back to the negotiating table.

And what incentive could they have?

Well, how about Tom Hanks, one of the darlings of Big Hollywood, and a member of the board of governors of the Academy of Arts and Sciences (the guys who award the Oscars), who has said:

I am a member of the board of governors of the Academy, and we definitely want to put on a great show and honor the films that have come out in the course of the year. I just hope that the big guys who make big decisions, up high in their corporate boardrooms and what not, get down to honest bargaining and everyone can get back to work."

See, TOM TERRIFIC: First Triple-A List Actor Links Fate Of Oscars To Studios Refusal To "Get Down To Honest Bargaining" at Deadline Hollywood.

If Tom Hanks is turning on the big guys, then they are really in trouble. Perhaps they will pay attention to a box-office giant like Hanks.

Or, perhaps they should pay attention to another major Hollywood player:
Hollywood's Triple-A list actors have started becoming integrally involved in trying to solve the Writers Guild strike against the Hollywood CEOs. I've just been told that George Clooney today is volunteering to personally set up a so-called "mediation panel" including himself and with plans to ask Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and John Wells (the executive producer of ER and ex-WGA president) to be part of it, plus 3 or 4 bigwigs who are siding with the producers. The offer came in a phone call today with Harvey Weinstein who promptly volunteered to be part of the panel. Clooney suggested its purpose should be to oversee the talks and tell the WGA as each term is bargained "you have to live with this and get over it," and tell the AMPTP "you have to live with that and get over it", Weinstein quoted George as saying. It's also Clooney's idea that everybody would be locked in the room together and not leave until the deal is done.

See, George Clooney Offers To Set Up "Mediation Panel" To Solve WGA Strike, at Deadline Hollywood.

With these top names speaking-out, can the AMPTP hold out much longer?

On another strike-related note: I have decided to boycott all writers, artists, and performers who crossed picket lines. I will publish a list in the future. I encourage everyone to boycott them, too.

Strike information and resources:

Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily
United Hollywood
WGA Strike News Digest
Variety's WGA Strike Coverage
The Los Angeles Times' Strike Zone
Writers Guild of America, West
Writers Guild of America, East

Dick Mac Recommends:

A People's History of the United States
Howard Zinn

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