Friday, July 12, 2013

Apparently, WGA union writers can't work on non-union shows or movies

While I’m used to writing what I want (whether blogging of self-publishing books), I see that in Hollywood, others (whom I blog about in reviews) don’t always have the same freedoms.

Variety reports that the Writers Guild of America East (WGA) has filed charges against Joan Rivers for violating union rules by “showrunning” and writing for the show “Fashion Police”, a non-union effort produced by the “E! Network”.  I have not yet seen an episode of the show but will track it down later. 
Apparently, union rules prohibit member writers from working on non-union projects. She will face a “trial board”.  What happens if they produce their own videos (like YouTube, Vimeo) non-union?
The Variety story by film reporter Dave McNary is here

I don't know if a similar rule exists for SAG,  A film is either SAG or non-SAG, but can SAG members work on low-budget, non-SAG films, or make their own?  Does anyone know?  I'm a little surprised if this is really an issue.  Unions and guilds don't always serve "liberty" interests.
When I entered a screenplay “Baltimore Is Missing” in the Project Greenlight contest in 2004, I filed a copy with WGA West.  I don’t think that obligates me further (I hope). 

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