Friday, July 05, 2019

Blind Items Revealed #33

April 16, 2019

Apparently there is a group of A+ listers out there who have worked behind the scenes to make sure they keep earning as much money as possible while the people they call "family" suffer. The A+ listers pay lip service to the fight, but that is all it is, lip service. They put a hyphen between their job descriptions and get the union they control to make a ruling. Therefor they classify themselves as the side of the hyphenate they want rather than the other which would cause them to possibly forgo tens of millions of dollars.

This former A+ list child mostly television actor turned A+ list mostly television teen actor turned A+ list director/producer is the main leader of this movement. It is the places he has created which are really what the fight is all about. He likes to talk the talk and say he is a writer and wishes he could so something, but dangit, the other union says he should keep things as they are so he is going to go with them even though he sure wishes he could go with everyone else.

On board with him is the permanent A++ list director who "feels for everyone else," but hey, "I have a different set of circumstances." Yeah, however if he did change his mind, then the whole thing would work out for the writers. All he cares about is making sure the empire stays in place.

That former actor turned A+ list writer/director current horror king was saying one thing two years ago, but now is using that hyphen to make sure he keeps those millions rolling in.

Even people who have done as instructed by their union and made a big deal of it are not being completely upfront. They are now more actors than writers so it is no skin off their back to show the public hand while at the same time doing things business as usual when it comes to acting. That A list comedian/voice over actor comes to mind.

Ron Howard/Steven Spielberg/Jordan Peele/Patton Oswalt


notthisagain said...

the WGA fight?

Krissie said...

what family? I'm confused

Phaedra said...


mangos said...

what is the hyphen referring to?

Simon said...

O’k, so someone talk about this to me like i am a two year old. I cannot follow this. Help is appreciated.

LisaR said...

Writer-directors are way beyond the mere writers. They may talk like they are in the fraternity (family), but they are too good to actually support the lower class.

Gator said...

The hyphen is for director-writer. They are taking writing credits on films that may rightfully belong to someone else.

cat said...

I believe this has something to do with writers not getting paid. Howard and others could stand behind the writers. Instead they make sure they make their money as director-producers. Howard and others don't lose money, other writers do, because the difference is made up, with the added job titles.

cat said...

Now that could be it.

Samantha the 1st said...

Can barely understand this one. A bit too oblique.

If it's saying that a bunch of powerful or famous people in showbiz are throwing the writers under the bus -- same old. Hollywood loathes writers. It will never admit that without a good script ya got NOTHING.

Vince said...

I think I can clear up some of the confusion on this item, which is a little "inside baseball" on the business of Hollywood.

1. A "hyphenate" refers to any artist who wears multiple hats... Ron Howard, a former actor, is now a writer-director... Jordan Peele is an actor-writer-director, Patton Oswalt is a writer-actor.

2. Currently, the Writers Guild of America, the union representing Hollywood film and television writers, is in a big legal fight with the Association of Talent Agencies (including CAA, WME, UTA and ICM) over packaging fees.

Essentially, the WGA is arguing that agencies, which once lived on the 10% they made from representing their clients, are now more financially motivated to negotiate their own lucrative packaging fees than they are to fight for their clients receiving a higher salary, both of which come from the same source.

It creates an enormous conflict of interest when a client's deal gets held up or dies because CAA or WME is leveraging shows created by clients in order to earn packaging fees. Also those packaging fees can also hurt a client's bottom line.

3. The Guild is currently suing CAA, WME, UTA and ICM, who in turn are counter-suing the WGA. As part of their fight, the WGA has urged all members to fire their agents. As part of this, a lot of big names have rallied the "family" of writers to do just that. Most did so.

But what this post is suggesting that a number of A listers... Ron Howard, Jordan Peele, Spielberg and Patton Oswalt... are using their status as hyphenates... to continue to work with agents and packaging fees... by using their membership in other unions. Howard, Peele and Spielberg are all members in the Directors Guild (DGA) while Oswalt is in the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

All four guys have publically supported the WGA while at the same time are undercutting the WGA and it's membership by continuing to work on projects and make deals using the excuse of DGA or SAG membership.

It's particularly egregious for someone like Oswalt, who is very vocal with his liberal politics on social media... supporting labor unions, teachers public employees, etc... but apparently when his own bottom line might be affected he does what's best for him even if it means betraying the WGA.

Samantha the 1st said...

Thank you Vince!

I used to like Oswalt. In recent years he has given off a creepy vibe.

molly said...

Used to watch the Oscars religiously.....thought Brokeback Mountain was a gem of a movie. Was shocked to see the author of the short story is was based on given her due. She stood up and received applause. The ego and greed of hollywood led to it's demise. This should have been standard practice. But true creativity is a thing of the past. The darkness cannot create , only copy.

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Unknown said...

Appreciate you centering the WGA fight Enty.
-- signed, WGA Member

Mary said...

Another union, probably writers or other industry union.


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