Fi-core George Clooney! Bonus Article: The AFTRA Board Members Candidates who want to take away the majority of members vote
The biggest betrayers of unions, are those members that go fi-core. If all union members when fi-core there would be no unions.
Nevertheless, there are those who do. Some are nave young actors who listen to unscrupulous agents, who tell them it’s okay, the guilds don’t care. The majority who go fi-core are those who can’t make it abiding by the rules, and go fi-core, in order to have it both ways. They can work non-union, where the competition is not as great, while at the same time taking advantage of the benefits that loyal union members achieve by abiding by the rules. And then we have the spoiled actors like fi-core John Voight and George Clooney, who go fi-core because the union won’t let them do whatever they want do, even if it hurts the rest of us.
Fi-core George Clooney fits into this spoiled union member category. He went fi-core because the WGA didn’t give him script credit for his new movie Leatherheads. (From what I’ve heard from those that have seen the picture, is that the WGA did him a favor.)
That, he would betray his fellow union members, is no surprise to those who have observed some of his union actions in the past. After all, he came to the defense of a union member who scabbed during the 2000 strike.
Although we would not condone it, one can at least understand why some poor schnook desperate for money might go fi-core. But, Fi-core George, who after going fi-core, had the balls to tell the rest of us who supported the writers strike that we should go into early negotiations with his producers.
This guy is a disgrace to our union. We’ve had a lot of great hi-profile members in our history, the Ralph Morgan’s, Eddie Cantor’s, Robert Montgomery’s, James Cagney’s and countless others who not only helped form this great union, but, also, set the standard for others, and then we have FI-CORE GEORGE!
When high-profile actors like him and Fi-core Jon go Fi-core, they give more credibility to unscrupulous agents to convince others to go fi-core. “Hey, John Voight and George Clooney are fi-core, so it’s okay, no one cares!”
And this is the same George Clooney, who said he was a proud SAG member, when he put our union in a position of weakness with his trade paper ad signaling to our employers, that after the writers strike, actors didn’t have the will to endure another strike–thus effectively taking strike off the table, and all but insuring that we will get only what the producers want to give us. As our NED Doug Allen said, “Without the threat of a strike, it is no longer Collective Bargaining but Collective Begging.
But then Fi-Core George is a producer, and to him that probably sounds like a pretty good idea.
Following a Variety article about Fi-Core George, we’ll give you the name of AFTRA Board Candidates that want to take away most of our union members vote.
Posted: Thurs., Apr. 3, 2008, 9:00pm PT
WGA, Clooney at odds over credit
‘Leatherheads’ ruling leaves filmmaker cold
By MICHAEL FLEMING
Aside from bringing back pro football’s formative days, “Leatherheads” might be remembered as the film that permanently drove a wedge between George Clooney and the Writers Guild of America.
Clooney went financial core last fall, after the WGA decided 2-1 in a credit arbitration vote that only Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly deserved screen credit on the picture that Universal opens today.
Going fi-core means a member is still technically a member of the WGA, but has limited rights within the guild. Fi-core members have to pay dues and are covered by the health and pension plans. Once you elect to go fi-core, the decision is irreversible.
A little correction here. If you go fi-core, you are a dues paying NON-MEMBER. You lose your card, your right to vote and cannot attend membership meetings. Or as in the case of Fi-core Jon Voight, he was not allowed to attend the SAG awards.
“When your own union doesn’t back what you’ve done, the only honorable thing to do is not participate,” said Clooney, who stressed he made no attempt to exclude Brantley and Reilly.
No George, the honorable thing to do is what most members do, realize you can’t always get your wayand play by the rules all the rest of your fellow union members play by .
Clooney says he would have quit the WGA altogether if he could, but that would have prevented him from working on all WGA-covered productions. He says he wanted nothing more to do with the WGA but didn’t want to be hampered in his ability in writing scripts.
Earth to George, by going fi-core, you did quit the WGA!
As for “Leatherheads,” Clooney took a languishing 17-year old project and got a greenlight after personally giving the script a major overhaul that transformed it into a screwball comedy. He says he felt he’d written all but two of the film’s scenes.
While he agreed that Brantley and Reilly deserved first position credit for hatching the idea and characters, he was incensed enough by the WGA arbitration process to go financial core, which rendered him a dues-paying non-voting member.
The WGA had no comment about Clooney’s decision.
Clooney didn’t appeal the WGA ruling, and kept his action quiet because the WGA was gearing up for a strike at the time. He didn’t want the filing seen as him having split ranks with the union over the labor dispute.
Or then, he kept his actions quiet because he didn’t want fellow union members to know, he had betrayed them.
Clooney has been a vocal advocate for urging studios and unions to resolve their differences as soon as possible; he joined Tom Hanks, Sally Field and others at a testy February meeting with SAG leaders in order to urge the guild to start bargaining ASAP.
To Grant Heslov, who partners with Clooney in the production shingle Smoke House, and who was a producer with Clooney on “Leatherheads,” the fi-core move was simply a reaction to a bad WGA decision.
So, what if we all went Fi-core when the union didn’t rule in our favor? There would be no union. But, then, we ain’t all big stars, who feel the rules don’t apply to us, and, get big heads because we are constantly getting our ass kissed.
“This script that Duncan and Rick wrote sat languid until after we finished ‘Good Night, and Good Luck’ and George wanted to do something lighter,” Heslov said. “George liked ‘Leatherheads,’ but said it never felt quite right. He took it to Italy with him, and I remember when he called to say he thought he’d solved it. One thing that you clearly see, if you read the original, the subsequent drafts and then his draft, is that he wrote the majority of the film. When I got the call about the decision that he wasn’t getting credit, I was shocked. We both thought Duncan and Rick would get first position credit, which they deserved. But this wasn’t right.”
WGA requires directors who seek writing credit to be responsible for 50% of the script. Heslov said Clooney kept his displeasure quiet because he didn’t want to be viewed as a credit hog since, after all, he is the star, director and a producer of “Leatherheads.” But Clooney confirmed his exit to Daily Variety.
Heslov said this wasn’t about ego, pointing out that when Universal sent a notice that the film would bear the credit “A George Clooney Film,” Clooney nixed it.
And while Clooney and Heslov shared an Oscar nomination for original screenplay on “Good Night, and Good Luck,” Clooney and ex-partner Steven Soderbergh removed their names from the producer roster, leaving Heslov the sole nominee when the Clooney-directed pic became a best picture candidate.
“He doesn’t take possessory credit because he believes this is a collaborative business and he’s not a guy who needs credit,” Heslov said. “Financial core was his form of protest, but when he did it, he didn’t want it public. We’re both big union guys. Between us, we belong to 12 unions. I think they made the wrong decision, and he was within his rights to respond by going financial core.”
Of course, Heslov ain’t biased, and, he and George are good union members, that is as long as the union caves into them.
By going fi-core, writers withhold the portion of dues spent by the WGA on non-contract activities — while still being able to write scripts. Fi-core writers pay dues that are 1.9% less than regular members; they also can’t vote on contracts or in any WGA election.
Under WGA rules, if the director or producer of a film is proposed for final credit, an automatic arbitration is triggered.
Like this article? Variety.com has over 150,000 articles, 40,000 reviews and 10,000 pages of charts. Subscribe today!
By tacitly encouraging others to go fi-core contribute the disenagration of our entertainment unions.
And, by backing a petition that would take away the vote of most of our union members, the backers tacitly encourage members to go fi-core. After all when you go fi-core the primary thing you lose is YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE. And if 80 to 85 percent of our members, who would be descenfranchised by the current qualified voting petition, did so, our union would be in a lot of trouble. Does anyone really want to see 85,000 members work non-union? Oh, they wouldn’t do that. Really, ask some of your friends what they would do if their union took away there right to vote on the contracts that they are bound by.
Anyway, here are the names of the following board candidates that signed the current Qualified Voting petition.
They are ALL members of the AFTRA Leadership Team.
For the National Board, they include Jason George, Matt Kimbrough, Jon Joyce and Rick Brett! ( A vote for them is a vote for QUALIFIED VOTING!)
For Membeers At Large they are: Andrew Caple-Shaw, Patrika Darbo, Linda Harman, Dan Narvarro, and Bill Ratner! ( A vote for them is a vote for QUALIFIED VOTING!)
For AFTRA Local Board of Directors: Lori Alan, Morgan Fairchild, Matt Kimbrough, and Bill Ratner! (( A vote for them is a vote for QUALIFIED VOTING!)
These, and the rest of The AFTRA Leadership Team slate, are part of the current AFTRA Leadership that took away your residuals with inferior cable contracts that cut your minimums, and gave away your residuals! Now they want to take away your vote too.
That’s the reason the Ol’ Dog is supporting the AFTRA artist slate, NONE of them signed the Qualified Voting petition, and they promise to stand against anymore residual sellouts of actors.
A Vote for the AFTRA Artist slate, is vote to save your vote, and your residuals.
My recommendations for current AFTRA election rerun are the following “AFTRA Artist” Candidates:
For the Actor AFTRA “Los Angeles” Board of Directors: Vote for only 3 candidates Steven Barr, Carole Elliott and Russell McConnell. All others are part of the current leadership that is responsible for AFTRA undercutting its own contracts with under par contracts with residual giveaways.
For the Actor AFTRA National Board of Directors: Vote for Bonnie Bartlett, Sumi Haru, and Carole Elliott!
For Stunt person: Jane Austin
For the “At-Large” category: Renee Aubry, Steven Barr, Anthony DeSantis, Frances Fisher, Peggy Miley, Jeff Austin, Paul Napier, David Sobolov, Russell McConnell. (REMEMBER, You can only vote for EIGHT!)
Now that AFTRA’s current leadership has terminated Phase One, it is more important than ever that there are AFTRA board members that will look out for actors interests.
YOUR VOTE COULD SAVE YOUR RESIDUALS
*Ballots must be received by April 15, 2008)