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Studios hit back at actors over ‘Hobbit’

September 28, 2010 at 6:59 am by admin  - 

New Line, Warner Bros. and MGM have issued a combined statement regarding the current ‘Hobbit’ headlines:

New Line, Warner Bros. Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures are concerned by the recent allegations of unfair treatment of actors in New Zealand and instructions from the performers’ guilds to their membership to withhold services from the producers of “The Hobbit” in New Zealand. We are proud to have good relations with all of those performers’ guilds and value their contribution to the motion pictures produced in their respective jurisdictions throughout the world. But we believe that in this case the allegations are baseless and unfair to Peter Jackson and his team in Wellington who have been tireless supporters of the New Zealand motion picture community.

To classify the production as “non-union” is inaccurate. The cast and crew are being engaged under collective bargaining agreements where applicable and we are mindful of the rights of those individuals pursuant to those agreements. And while we have previously worked with MEAA, an Australian union now seeking to represent actors in New Zealand, the fact remains that there cannot be any collective bargaining with MEAA on this New Zealand production, for to do so would expose the production to liability and sanctions under New Zealand law. This legal prohibition has been explained to MEAA. We are disappointed that MEAA has nonetheless continued to pursue this course of action.

Motion picture production requires the certainty that a production can reasonably proceed without disruption and it is our general policy to avoid filming in locations where there is potential for work force uncertainty or other forms of instability. As such, we are exploring all alternative options in order to protect our business interests.

Check out the full article at Variety.com. Thanks to Ringer HobbitonMayor and Ringer TheSilentSon for the heads up. [Read More]

Posted in Hobbit Movie, MGM, Peter Jackson, Production, Studios, The Hobbit on September 28, 2010 by Source: Variety Studios hit back at actors over ‘Hobbit’ | Discuss
Daggers of Tauriel

11 responses to “Studios hit back at actors over ‘Hobbit’”

  1. Josh Mahan says:

    Am I to infer from this that they are considering moving production OUT of New Zealand? That would be quite a mistake in my opinion, and I’m sure very many others would agree.

  2. I agree that it would be a great mistake. New Zealand IS middle earth and any other location I think would not live up to the grandeur and realism. I’m sure if the actors thought that they were being treated unfairly then they would either issue a statement or just pursue other films. I think the MEAA should stay in Australia and keep its nose out of New Zealand. I’m certain that all the people on the LOTR cast were fine and, from what I have seen, they all were proud to have worked on the project. May this issue be resolved fairly and please, may all parties keep the true Tolkien and LOTR fans in mind when deciding the course that this production will take. Kudos to Peter Jackson for hanging in there.

  3. TheGirabbit says:

    This is a power grab by the Australian union organization pure and simple. They either want to force New Zealand actors to join their union, or force the production elsewhere. If the Hobbit moves to the Czech Republic, it will be a LONG TIME before another major studio looks at New Zealand for a production. There are likely several stakeholders in Australia who would benefit greatly by hampering / eliminating their neighboring competitors in the film industry.

    Either way the MEAA and their constituents would score a big win. This is going to be an all you can eat buffet for the lawyers…

  4. Andrew says:

    This saga has all the makings of Gilliam’s tragic “Man of La Mancha” experience. I know PJ climbed mountainous obstacles to get LOTR to the silver screen but his experiences on “The Hobbit” look set to dwarf that stressful period. I wonder when the camel’s back will break…

  5. Andrew says:

    This saga has all the makings of Gilliam’s tragic “Man of La Mancha” experience. I know PJ climbed mountainous obstacles to get LOTR to the silver screen but his experiences on “The Hobbit” look set to dwarf that stressful period. I wonder when the camel’s back will break…

  6. Andrew says:

    This saga has all the makings of Gilliam’s tragic “Man of La Mancha” experience. I know PJ climbed mountainous obstacles to get LOTR to the silver screen but his experiences on “The Hobbit” look set to dwarf that stressful period. I wonder when the camel’s back will break…

  7. Jeffvonhausen says:

    Time to boycot MEAA films

  8. Sven says:

    As the films progressed, there was less and less location work. ROTK had very few location shoots, and King Kong had none. Everything became green screen, studio or sets. I wouldn’t be surprised if The Hobbit was shot on a similar basis so that NZ scenery is less important a factor.

    What legal obstacle will arise next week?

  9. G2d2 says:

    “New Zealand IS middle earth and any other location I think would not live up to the grandeur and realism”

    You haven’t traveled extensively throughout Europe, have you?

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