Since the news broke this weekend of actor unions putting pressure on the producers of “The Hobbit” regarding wages and working conditions of non-union actors, hundreds of stories, and re-hashes of stories, have hit the internet. It’s enough to boggle the mind! So, we thought we’d provide a recap of what’s happened so far, complete with a number of useful links. Bear in mind that the ‘facts’ presented in one story may conflict with the ‘facts’ presented in other stories. Our goal here is not to take sides, to separate the fact from the fiction, nor to link to 100% of the related articles. Rather, our goal is to give our readers some basic resources as a starting point for their own research. Keep checking TheOneRing.net for the most recent updates!
(Thanks to many of our readers and message board members for their diligent work locating many of the articles linked below. Special thanks to Kristen Thompson at the Frodo Franchise blog for sharing her extra-diligent research with us. Be sure to keep sending updates as you find them to firstname.lastname@example.org!)
(Note: dates are based on U.S. time zones)
Sep. 24 – SAG (Screen Actor’s Guild) and other actor unions worldwide (including the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance of Australia) issue statements to their members regarding non-union actors who may be hired to work on “The Hobbit.” Statements range from encouraging support for non-union actors to urging an all-out boycott of the production. NZ Actor’s Equity urges supporters to attend a meeting in Auckland on Sep 27. Links: Offical SAG Alert ; UK Equity Alert ; MEAA Hobbit Fact Sheet ; NZ Actor’s Equity Articles ; TVNZ interview
Sep. 26 – Peter Jackson issues a response. Links: TheOneRing.net
Sep. 27 – official response from the studios. Links: Deadline Hollywood
Sep. 28 – statement released from NZ Actor’s Equity meeting. Links: NZ Actor’s Equity Articles ; YouTube Video interviews of NZ Actors re: NZ Actor’s Equity Meeting
Other useful links: NZ Employment Law: Contractors vs. Employees ; NZ Dept. of Labour definition of an Employee ; Ruling on Bryson vs. Three Foot Six ; Karl Urban backs Union Stance ; Movie Studios Look at Other Options for The Hobbit ; TVNZ – The Plot Thickens ; SPADA on Hobbit Battle ; Gordon Campbell on Trade Unions vs. The Hobbit ; More from PJ on stuff.co.nz ; stuff.co.nz on Unions having No Legal Standing