More cord cutting news for all you crazy, zany refugees from the tyranny of satellite and cable TV, from Luke Bourna at CordCuttersNews. FWIW, Roku still doesn’t move us – too many mandatory add-ons, in our experience, and a service as underused as YouTube TV raising its price? Sheesh, doods, get a clue:
Where we are now, via the WGA Negotiating Committee yesterday:
Today the WGA filed suit in California state court against the four largest packaging agencies: WME, CAA, UTA, and ICM. You can read the lawsuit here.
Guild members Patti Carr, Ashley Gable, Barbara Hall, Deric Hughes, Chip Johannessen, Deirdre Mangan, David Simon, and Meredith Stiehm have agreed to be plaintiffs, representing themselves and all writers harmed by packaging fees.
The goal of the lawsuit is a judicial declaration that packaging fees are unlawful as well as an injunction prohibiting talent agencies from entering into future packaging fee arrangements. The suit will also seek damages on behalf of writers and repayment of illegal profits.
The complaint is comprised of two claims:
Packaging fees violate California fiduciary duty law. Under state law, talent agents are fiduciaries, who are required by law to represent writers with undivided loyalty and without conflicts of interest.
Packaging fees also violate California’s Unfair Competition Law. Packaging is an unfair practice because it violates a federal statute, the so-called “anti-kickback” provision of the Taft-Hartley Act. The direct payment of our agencies by our employers is prohibited under both state and federal law.
The WGA will continue to use all appropriate methods, including negotiation and litigation, to align agency interests with the interests of writers.
WGAW Board of Directors
David A. Goodman, President
Marjorie David, Vice President
Aaron Mendelsohn, Secretary-Treasurer
Deric A. Hughes
Patric M. Verrone
Beau Willimon, President
Jeremy Pikser, Vice President
Bob Schneider, Secretary-Treasurer
Monica Lee Bellais
Lisa Takeuchi Cullen
Tracey Scott Wilson
Our fave philosopher-cartoonist, Grant Snider, applies himself to a problem we’re certain has faced humanity since before the dawn of civilization. We endorse his solution but what also like to suggest an alternate of our own.
What’s that? You think you know. If you said, “Write!” you’d be right!
The Shape of Ideas Sketchbook by Grant Snider features new illustrations, comics on drawing and creativity, and many blank pages for your own ideas, doodles, and observations. Order it from Abrams or wherever you get your books.
While you’re at it, you can find more of Grant’s extraordinary perception of human creativity at Incidental Comics, HERE
Buy Grant’s wonderful book, The Shape of Ideas,HERE
chance to learn the entertainment business through paid internship programs. Lionsgate is the first entertainment company to join forces with Howard University to start the educational institute’s program that has allows six to 12 students to learn the filmmaking and television businesses. This particular program was launched by UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.
The idea for this came from Sen. Kamala Harris, who is a Howard alumni and mentioned to Lionsgate that intern programs with higher education could increase diversity across the entertainment business. “She was one of the catalysts to help raise awareness around this opportunity,” Jay Tucker, Exec Director at the Center for MEMES (Media, Entertainment & Sports) at UCLA told Deadline. “It really helped to get the ball rolling.”
“Howard University has produced several graduates from film, law, business and theater who have paved their own paths into Hollywood through their persistence, however there is more work to do before the entertainment industry reflects the diverse audiences it serves,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick in a statement to Deadline. “I applaud our partners at Lionsgate for building a bridge from higher education to the workplace which will help diversify Hollywood behind the camera and create a new generation of executives.”
Lionsgate and UCLA hope to grow this program to include other HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) and women’s colleges to give students who would normally not have the chance a pipeline into the industry. They are also hoping to have other studios, networks and production companies join the program to help in diversifying the ranks in Hollywood.
HBCU higher education institutions were established before the 1964 Civil Rights Act with the primary intention of serving African-American communities. Howard University is one of the highest-ranking HBCU in this nation.
“The courses that we focus on here, they are really only the only courses that students can take that combines guests lectures, field trips and they also have capstone projects built into each class — these are resume building, hands-on projects,” Tucker said. “We have tons of access to executives and we really use the city as a lab. The program with Howard University (helps) the diversity pipeline. No one is offering what we can with the combination of what we have. Lionsgate has really been instrumental in pushing this initiative and we hope others in the industry will join in to help us with this all-important program.”
The students are undergrads placed in companies for 20 to 25 hours in paid internships at roughly $13 to $15 an hour.
Lionsgate employed three interns motion picture, production, worldwide TV/digital distribution and talent acquisition. One of the interns has already been hired for an entry level position at the company. They are also recruiting and will be hiring more interns this summer.
“Greater diversity and inclusion makes our industry stronger and our films and television series better,” Lionsgate Vice Chairman Michael Burns told Deadline. “Not only are we creating opportunities for the students in the program, but they in turn are creating opportunities for us to make our workplace more diverse and our storytelling richer and more varied.”