With pint-sized Add On.
Director Peter Jackson's non-union movie is not causing joy for SAG, AFTRA and other labor organizations:
Actors guilds including SAG, AFTRA and several international unions have issued an alert against the big-budget adaptation of "The Hobbit," stating that their members "are advised not to accept work on this non-union production." ...
The labor discord in Jackson's home country of New Zealand, where "Hobbit" will be shot, has simmered for several weeks. Letters to producers have been written by the International Federation of Actors (FIA), Australia’s MEAA, and others complaining that the producers have refused to sign a union contract.
The dispute ratcheted up on Friday with a strongly-worded member alert from actors unions in the U.S., Canada, the UK and Australia. ...
As the Nikkster relates:
... [N]ews reports say Three Foot Seven [the production company] has been trying to resolve the situation behind closed doors and is pissed it's now being played out internationally. ...
So producers are ticked off this sad story is hitting the media megaphone and getting news coverage and attention. What a shame.
I'm a long-time believer in using whatever leverage you've got to move things along. When the charm offensive doesn't work, then you use something else. If this story getting traction around the world helps a labor union to get a contract, then bully for the labor union.
Reports of management being upset because a non-union movie is getting negative publicity moves me not at all. I've sat in meetings where players professed to being "angry" at labors' demands or attitudes, and it's usually posturing. I know this because the scowls and doses of stink eye go away the minute the dust clears and the deal gets done. Smart operators -- labor or management -- know there isn't much profit in carrying grudges.
My own credo is: "Forgive everything, forget nothing." That will probably end up being the theme song here.
Add On: It's referenced in comments, but Peter Jackson jumps in with a lengthy response:
... [I]t sure feels like we are being attacked simply because we are a big fat juicy target - not for any wrong doing. We haven't even been greenlit yet! It feels as if we have a large Aussie cousin kicking sand in our eyes ... or to put it another way, opportunists exploiting our film for their own political gain.