WGA Nixes 'Django Unchained', 'Les Miserables', Several Others From Ballots

Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained and Les Miserables (William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schonberg, Herbert Kretzmer) are among a bunch of prominent movies whose screenplays the Writers Guild of America excluded from nominating ballots for its WGA Awards this year. Ballots sent to members list 112 eligible screenplays — 44 adapted and 68 original, Variety reported. The news surfaced Saturday on Hitfix. The WGA requires that scripts be produced under Guild jurisdiction or under a collective bargaining agreement in Canada, Ireland, New Zealand or the U.K. and that the scripts be formally submitted for consideration. Other excluded titles include Amour, The Impossible,  Middle of Nowhere, Seven Psychopaths, Take This Waltz, Your Sister’s Sister and Pixar’s animated Brave in the original category. Omissions in the adapted category include Anna Karenina, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The IntouchablesQuartet and Rust And Bone. Being shut out of the Writers Guild Awards consideration won’t keep these movies off Oscar ballots, however. Despite shared memberships, screenwriting nominees for the Motion Picture Academy seldom correspond 100% in either original or adapted categories because Oscar rules are less restrictive.

Related: OSCARS: Handicapping The Screenwriters

  1. UGH. UGH. UGH. The Writers Guild should be celebrating the written word not the written word that adheres to a lengthy set of rules to get nominated. This is almost as ridiculous as the pathetic SAG TV nominees. Some of these movies (I’m guessing Middle of Nowhere and Beasts of the Southern Wild in particular) were probably made without WGA because they do not have a realistic low budget agreement like SAG and DGA. But to not honor the BEST WRITING PERIOD is just wrong.

  2. Can someone more business savvy put this in laymen’s terms for me? What were the jurisdictions that prevented these screenplays from being nominated?

    1. WGA Awards are meant to highlight the work of its members. If scripts are written by non members who work on non-guild-signatory productions, they’re not eligible.

      In laymens terms — it’d be like expecting the Moose Lodge to hand out their “Best Tree Planter of the Year” award — and someone who’s not a member of the lodge but did similar work in the community complaining. “How come I didn’t get the award?” Well, cuz the award is for members only. Paid for by members dues. And meant to highlight the specific talent of THAT union and its members. Nothing more nothing less. Not that hard to figure out.

  3. On almost a daily basis, the WGA finds new and inventive ways to embarrass and marginalize itself. This is today’s example. Tomorrow’s is on the way, wait for it!

  4. As a union/guild member, I am often saddened by the ridiculous posturing my brothers and sisters assume at times like these. In short…what a load of crap.

  5. To be eligible for WGA awards, scripts must be written under WGA jurisdiction, the writers WGA members and the productions signatories to the WGA contract. Nothing all that complicated.

    1. Obviously the WGA is afraid that if films produced outside of its “jurisdiction” win screenplay awards, the guild’s already shaky relevance will be questioned anew. But writers, please remember: You need your WGA. Think of all the parties, the PACs, the posturing! The pathetic contract negotiations! The perks and junkets for board members!

  6. The award is called the WGA Award. There are plenty of others, like say, the Oscars. Why are people complaining that the guild’s requirements for the award include providing benefits to writers?
    Glad people’s priorities are in the right place. Entitlement to redundant awards instead of entitlement to healthcare for the writers — most of whom are not Quentin Tarantino. Geez.

  7. I don’t get what the whining is all about. Those scripts weren’t under guild contracts, thus they aren’t eligible for a guild award. Why is that wrong? (Also, it says they need to be submitted, maybe they weren’t.)

    And btw, why wasn’t something big budget like Django under a guild contract? Is Tarantino fi-core?

  8. Dear WGA,
    Get over yourselves…
    Consider this as an opportunity to expand your ranks and welcome in talented creatives rather than engage in petty, punitive actions that only serve to undermine your credibility. And please remember the Marxist adage “I don’t want to belong to any club that will accept people like me as a member.”
    Groucho Marxist, that is…

  9. I’m a WGA member and I agree with this whole-heartedly and would be furious if a script not produced under guild rules was nominated. We’re a union of professional artists navigating modern day economic threats together, not a blind screenwriting competition. Why are we obligated to give our highest honor to a project that did not contribute to the health and strength of our guild or its members? By the way, what this post hasn’t mentioned is that a lot of these excluded projects could have negotiated project specific agreements with the wga directly if they’d bothered.

  10. The GREED, SELFISHNESS, NARROW MINDEDNESS and BIGOTRY towards non-union people and RTW States, of both unions and most all union members is pathetic, disgusting, never-ending, and just plain shameful. And no surprise either. Have you no shame? At long last, sir, have you no shame? Unions are dying or dead already (e.g. Michigan, Wisconsin, all ‘Red’ States, etc). Just go away quietly, or at least, just go away. Please. Just go away.

  11. Tarantino’s script was available(leaked or not) online before the movie even went into production. Meaning Tarantino or a producer purposelyfully omitted Django from contention. Any idea’s why he(or whoever) would want to do that? I remember Tarantino had a beef with the DGA for quite some time yet he’s eligible this year(I wonder what changed for him?) so something fishy is happening here methinks

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