UPDATE, 2PM: Following their West Coast brethren, the Writers Guild Of America East today also came out against the proposed Comcast purchase of Time Warner Cable. Claiming that “Comcast/NBCUniversal want to further reduce competition at the …
Almost three months after 150 writers and producers from Sharp Entertainment filed for a National Labor Relations Board election to join the WGA East, they’ve become union members. Ballots for an election held last month were counted February 3, the guild said today. The now-members work or recently worked as staffers on Sharp’s Doomsday Preppers, Man Vs. Food, and other series. ”We are very pleased that the writer-producers at Sharp have voted to become part of the WGAE,” said Lowell Peterson, executive director of the WGA East, in a statement today. “We anticipate entering a collective bargaining agreement with Sharp that includes the provisions we have won for writer-producers employed by other nonfiction TV production companies, he added. The announcement comes as the WGA enters its second week of talks with producers on a new labor deal.
NEW YORK CITY– Hennah Sekandary of New York University has been selected to receive the Writers Guild Initiative’s (WGI) 2014 Michael Collyer Memorial Fellowship in Screenwriting. The fellowship, which is funded by the Charles and Lucille King Family Foundation, is awarded to a student who plans to pursue a career in screenwriting upon completion of his/her undergraduate course of study. Sekandary will receive a $10,000 stipend to write an original screenplay, which she will do under the mentorship of David Henry Hwang (M. Butterfly, Yellow Face, Possession). She will be presented with her fellowship at the 66th annual Writers Guild Awards on Saturday, February 1, 2014 in New York City at the Edison Ballroom.
The WGA East said today that Philip V. Pilato, an editor and service aide at WINS-AM New York, will receive its Richard B. Jablow Award. The honor for dedicated and enthusiastic service to the guild will be presented February 1 …
Can’t help but think James Schamus receiving the WGA East‘s Evelyn F. Burkey Award for “bringing honor and dignity to writers” is the guild’s way of making sure it thanks the now former Focus Features boss for his years mentoring art house fare from writers like Dustin Lance Black, Charlie Kaufman, Larry McMurtry & Anne Proulx, and Jose Rivera as well as himself (Lust, Caution and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). Shamus was the longtime CEO at Focus before a full rethink of the business at NBCUniversal in October saw him removed and replaced by FilmDistrict’s Peter Schlessel, part of a plan to focus on more mainstream and genre films (at least in part) in the future. One of Shamus’ final films in Focus’ pipeline is Dallas Buyers Club, the kind of film Focus has so successfully shepherded through many an Oscar season. “This film is very important and we have believed in it from the beginning”, Schamus told our Pete Hammond after the movie’s LA premiere October 18. “We are taking this one all the way to the altar, all the way, and I am going to be there for it.” Here’s today WGA East release, which comes a day after it said it would award The Wire creator David Simon with Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement during the WGA Awards on February 1:
She may have called striking Fashion Police scribes “schmuck writers” and “idiots”, and was slammed earlier this week by the WGA East, but a “stunned” Joan Rivers today says she is “supportive of the striking writers” (read the full statement below). The comedian also says she “just learned that E! and the WGA are having an election” on the over 6-month labor action and hopes the FP writers will soon be covered by a WGA contract. Here’s her statement:
I am stunned by the WGAE’s recent personal attacks and allegations that I breached the Settlement Agreement in connection with the WGAE Charges. I am supportive of the striking writers. I am hopeful that the writers will soon be covered by a WGA Contract as I have just learned that E! and the WGA are having an election in early December. As a long standing member of the WGAE, I am greatly confused and disturbed by Mr. Winship’s unprofessional and hurtful statements about my character – It is time for the focus to be on getting the writers a contract, not using me as a scapegoat.
According to Ms. Rivers’ counsel at the law firm of Loeb & Loeb, “Joan Rivers has fully complied with the terms of the Settlement Agreement. The statements that Mr. Winship attributes to Ms. Rivers do not violate the Settlement Agreement.”
The seemingly about-face remarks come a day after WGAE president Michael Winship called her out for “reprehensible” comments about the FP writers in an online interview last week. “We are exploring all options,” Winship added Thursday about possible repercussions.
As part of the deal struck today between Joan Rivers and the WGA East, the Fashion Police host said that she will not “render any writing services even though as a comedian and SAG-AFTRA host, I often write material for myself.” The WGA East had set an October 14 disciplinary hearing in New York to determine whether the E! host violated the union’s rules by writing and performing showrunner duties for the E! Network show during its current writers strike. Action could have resulted in Rivers becoming the first member of that guild to be tossed, and she had called the trial board hearing “a bunch of bullsh*t“. Former writers for show have been on strike since mid-April for over $1 million in back wages and overtime. Rivers and the network contend have that Rivers played no part in the situation that led to the dispute.
NEW YORK CITY – The Writers Guild of America, East Foundation has changed its name — it is now called the Writers Guild Initiative (WGI). The name change is part of a rebranding that recognizes the organization’s long time proactive and focused mission: “to perpetuate the art and craft of storytelling, either by professionals or amateurs, through education and practical experience, on local, national, and global levels.” The Initiative’s programs are designed to reach various populations and help them to find their unique voice as writers.
Deadline Editor-in-Chief Nikki Finke is writing from on-scene reports. The winners are named at 2013 WGA Awards (LIVE). There will be an update to this post on Monday morning:
Nora Ephron, the quintuple-threat director and screenwriter and playwright and author and columnist, died in June after quietly battling leukemia. She had been a staunch WGA member and received the WGA East’s Ian McClellan Hunter Award in 2003 honoring motion picture work, so this tribute set for the WGA’s New York awards show February 17 is fitting — she never won the guild award despite nominations for a heavy-hitter list of movies (Silkwood, When Harry Met Sally..., Sleepless In Seattle and Julie & Julia). Her last play, Lucky Guy, is set to begin previews on Broadway next month with Tom Hanks and Maura Tierney starring. Here’s the guild’s release announcing plans:
New York City – Writers Guild of America, East today announced a tribute to award-winning, screenwriter, director, playwright, author, and Guild, East member Nora Ephron. The tribute to Ephron, who died in June, will be led by the author Meg Wolitzer, whose novel, “This Is My Life,” was adapted and directed by Ephron in 1992 and presented at the Writers Guild Awards East Coast ceremony on Sunday February 17th, in New York City.
“At this year’s Writers Guild Awards East Coast ceremony, we will mark the passing of one of our most distinguished and creative members. Nora Ephron’s life and body of work were those of a quintessential New Yorker, but not only did she embody the sophistication, wit and energy of our city, she was also a loyal union member who walked the picket line and talked the talk on behalf of all her fellow writers,” said Michael Winship, President, Writers Guild of America, East.
New York City – Writers Guild of America, East today announced that it will honor current Secretary-Treasurer Bob Schneider with its annual Richard B. Jablow Award, named after the Guild’s first counsel who helped found the organization and authored its constitution, for devoted service to the Guild. The honor will be presented to Schneider by last year’s recipient Susan Kim, during the 65th Annual Writers Guild Awards, at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City on Sunday, February 17, 2013.
New York City – Writers Guild of America, East today announced that versatile screenwriter and director David Koepp will be the recipient of the Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement. The award, established in 1992, honors a WGA member for his/her body of work as a writer in motion pictures or television, and will be presented during the 65th Annual Writers Guild Awards, at B.B. King Blues Club in New York City on Sunday, February 17, 2013.
“For the past 25 years, David Koepp has written an extraordinary variety of movies that have thrilled audiences around the world – whether the exploits of Indiana Jones, the terror of genetically engineered dinosaurs at Jurassic Park or the derring-do of the Mission: Impossible team. But more than those adventures, David has given us tales of character and emotion that capture and lift the human spirit. He is a consummate storyteller and for that reason the Writers Guild of America, East is thrilled to present him its Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement,” said Michael Winship, President, WGAE.
UPDATE: Atlas Media asserts in response to the Writers Guild of America East’s filing an unfair labor claim that an “overwhelming majority” of the company’s producers this week petitioned management to remove WGA East as their bargaining representative. “As required by law,” Atlas said, it “withdrew recognition from …
New York – The National Labor Relations Board has rejected the final appeal by reality television production company ITV Studios to challenge the certification of the December 2010 election results which make the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE) the Union representing the production company’s writers and producers.
The NRLB decision upholding the election ends nearly two years of legal foot dragging by the company. The UK-owned ITV Studios is responsible for the nonfiction hit “First 48″ and is a major producer of non- fiction TV. ITV’s corporate parent in Great Britain negotiates with a number of unions so the company’s resistance in the U.S. has been puzzling. Presumably the NLRB’s unanimous decision will bring the company to the bargaining table.
There are 10 open Council seats (seven Freelance seats and three Staff seats) in this election. The 10 candidates for the seven open Freelance seats are: Richard Vetere, Lara Shapiro, Gina Gionfriddo, Walter Bernstein, John Rinaldi, Michael Kantor, John Auerbach, Terry George, Jenny Lumet and John Marshall.
The three candidates for the three open Staff seats are: Patrick Mason, Arthur Daley and Ted Schreiber.
The WGAE annual membership meeting is scheduled for September 20, 2012.
New York City – Kristen Wiig will present the Herb Sargent Award for Comedy Excellence to Judd Apatow at the Writers Guild of America Awards Ceremony in New York City. Daytime television veteran Claire Labine will also be honored when she receives the Ian McLellan Hunter Award at the ceremony, which takes place at B.B. King Blues Club on Sunday, February 19, 2012. Boardwalk Empire creator, executive producer and writer Terence Winter joins writers Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini and CBS “Sunday Morning” contributor, writer and co-host Nancy Giles to present at the ceremony.