Tuesday, September 10, 2019

WHY we need to stick together

Hypocrisy in Hollywood? Nooooooooo.

Studios all say that they embrace diversity and parity for women.

And then they do this:

For the CRAZY RICH ASIANS sequel the studio, Warner Brothers, approached the two writers of the wildly successful original.

Peter Chiarelli was offered between $800,000 and a million. His co-writer, Adele Lim (pictured above) was offered $110,000. Lin wisely told them to go fuck themselves.

Warner Brothers claims Chiarelli received more because he was more experienced. Here are his extensive screen credits:

NOW YOU SEE ME 2 (story by)
THE PROPOSAL (written by)

At this point I should say I don’t at all blame Chiarelli. If he or anybody can get that kind of money then more power to him. He’s not the bad guy here.

But let’s look at the facts.

Adele Lim has multiple writing credits on 14 TV series. The first one coming in 2002. She’s also produced 9 TV series. Beginning in 2006.

The more experienced Chiarelli’s first writing credit is 2009.

TV used to be a step down but not anymore.  Top flight screenwriters are fleeing to television as if someone yelled "FIRE!" in a movie theatre.  

Sorry but Warner Brothers argument doesn’t hold up.

What really happened is that Warner Brothers thought they could pull a fast one.

And this is yet another reason why writers need to stick together when negotiating against studios or networks or (currently) talent agencies. If there’s a chance they could screw you they will. They’re not going to be “fair.” At the end of the day they look for any weakness and exploit it.

So I double back to the WGA faction that believes inviting the agencies back to the bargaining table and negotiating in good faith is the way to secure a fair and reputable deal. That’s the LAST THING the Guild should be doing.

So again, I urge WGA members to vote for David Goodman and his team. Make no mistake, we’re all Adele Lim in the industry’s eyes.


Peter said...

Crazy Rich Asians was overlong, boring and unfunny, but all credit to her for standing her ground. That kind of pay disparity is a disgrace.

I won't see the sequel, but I hope for those who do go to see it that there's more than just Ken Jeong in an Elvis costume again to generate laughs.

E. Yarber said...

The sad thing is that you could write about an obvious ripoff like the Neil Simon competition yesterday while the reality is that the big-ticket studios in Hollywood are just as venal and demeaning as some little theater preying on the need for authors to get their work seen. I've been through the bait-and-switch routine myself as recently as last year, and the jerks involved never expected me to walk away from a deal that proved to be rancid. No matter how much experience a writer may have, those jerks consider everyone to be a desperate wannabe.

MikeN said...

Umm, how else do you secure a deal without having both parties at the negotiating table?

James said...

I wonder if the disparity was more from her being female or Asian

Lisa said...

Sorry, but what's the difference between 'Story by' and 'Written by'?

Is 'Written by' - just screenplay and not the original story?

blinky said...

I still don't understand the motivation for offering the guy a million bucks. Given his lack of experience he probably would have taken $110,000. Don't studios want to screw everyone? Are you saying they purposely over pay men?

Joseph Dickerson said...

Every time I see ANYONE promoting diversity, inclusion and equal pay for women I ALWAYS question their motivation. This is one such example of the hypocrisy that Hollywood shows in their actions that is turning off a whole lot of potential customers (including me).

Greg said...

I can't believe I'm "being fair" to Studio executives, but... Chiarelli's written 3 movies, each of which has grossed over 300 million. And, as you know, a TV quote means zip in features. You could have made 5 billion in TV, but your feature quote still starts at square one. Now, I do think she should have been offered more, but apparently she only did a dialogue polish on the first, and was slated to do the same on this one. So... yeah, studio execs are awful, but this is probably one of the LESS awful things they did that week.

maxdebryn said...

I can't wait to see Spaghetti Versus Noodle. Talk about high concept.

Dhruv said...

Ken, a question on this post and your own experience of selling "STAR SPANGLED ADVENTURE" script and also other scripts to studios.

Does your credits on TV shows and their success, raise the rates of spec scripts? Was it considered while negotiating the price?

I am asking not just after reading the above comments but was also thinking - would Vince Gilligan be paid based on 'Breaking Bad' success or just how much his movie script was worth or rather how much money the movie would rake in.

Ted said...

This discussion will be complete only if we know how much Disney is paying her for 'Raya and the Last Dragon'.

Does Disney pay good, generally speaking?

Is she getting 'what she is worth' or rather 'what she believes she is worth'?

They screw the writers, right? Not one of them has a good word to say about Disney.
Then why work for them, if you are so high on principles and equality......

Buttermilk Sky said...

Now I understand why they've done a DOWNTON ABBEY movie. All those viewers over five seasons meant zip, apparently.

Roger Owen Green said...

Off-topic FQ: Did you see CBS' tease for their new shows? I thought they stopped doing that. And, maybe because we're getting the backstory, it made be want to check out one or two.

Loosehead said...

Anyone know who her agent is, and who his agent is, and what relationship there is between these agents and Warners, and any production companies involved. I suspect there is a conflict of interest lurking at the back of this somewhere.

Nathan said...

In corporate world, no one knows their co-workers salary.

If you feel you are underpaid, then you quit, not compare with others and fight with the management.

Only in Hollywood, this practice of comparison and demand happens.

If you feel you are underpaid, then quit, don't take the job. Why crib?

Here the agent who didn't negotiate is to be blamed, not the management who will ALWAYS try to pay you less. That's life! Everyone tries to pay you less but you need to demand. Not run away and weep on twitter.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

>> Anonymous Nathan said...

In corporate world, no one knows their co-workers salary.>>

This is what unions are for...


Kendall said...

Friday Question: When Netflix gives someone like Ryan Murphy a $300 million deal, is that money his compensation or is he expected to use that money to cover some of the production costs for his projects?