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PEN Center To Sony: Distribute ‘The Interview’ “As Far And Wide As Possible” – Update

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UPDATED, 4:49 PM: PEN American Center today expressed “profound regret” about Sony's choice not to release The Interview on any platform. The group of 3,500 American writers who support free expression worldwide also called out New Regency for axing the planned North Korea-set film Pyongyang, which was to be directed by Gore Verbinski and star Steve Carell. “PEN has long documented the chilling effect that threats or acts of violence can have on free speech and creative… Read

Business

SAG-AFTRA’s Board Approves New Network TV Code Deal

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The SAG-AFTRA board of directors has voted overwhelmingly to approve the new Network Television Code, the union's contract covering nonprimetime TV shows. The new three-year pact, which generates more than $200 million a year in earnings, now goes to the guild's members for final ratification. The new agreement, which was tentatively struck on November 14, includes an 8.7% overall increase in "most program fees": 2.5% the first year and 3% in each of the second and third… Read

Business

It Takes Balls To Drive A Truck On Chicago Film Sets, Lawsuit Claims

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In Saudi Arabia, women aren't allowed to drive cars. In Chicago, women aren't allowed to drive trucks--at least not on movie sets. That's according to a lawsuit filed against Chicago Teamsters Local 727 that claims no woman has been hired to drive a truck on a union film or TV show shot in the Windy City in the local's 75-year history. That's tens of thousands of jobs, hundreds of thousands of days worked. In 2010, Maura Anne Stuart made history by becoming the first… Read

Business

Hackers Hit ART Payroll; SAG-AFTRA Members Warned

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Another hack attack has hit Hollywood. In the wake of the cyber break-in ratting Sony, American Residuals & Talent, which processes residuals checks for SAG-AFTRA members, has notified the union of a security breach that could affect thousands of actors. "The breach may have affected the data of actors who received residuals payments through ART Payroll," SAG-AFTRA said in a statement. The company also services Actors' Equity contracts and provides crew payroll… Read

Business

DGA Members Ratify New Commercials Pact

DGA

DGA officials say the guild's rank and file has voted “overwhelmingly” to ratify a new TV commercials contract. They wouldn't say, however, how many members voted or what the final count was. "It's a longstanding policy not to give out that information," a DGA spokesperson told Deadline. The new agreement with the Association of Independent Commercial Producers includes wage increases of 3% in each year of the three-year contract, which runs through November 30, 2017. It… Read

Business

Los Angeles City Council Passes Film-Friendly Fee Waiver – Update

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UPDATE, 12:20 PM: As expected the LA City Council today overwhelmingly passed measures to make filming in the City of Angeles easier and cheaper for productions. In 15-0 vote, the local pols extended a waiver for filming on city property to June 30, 2019. The vote also seeks feedback on other ways the city can improve local filming for productions. First introduced in 2006, the wavier has been estimated to cost LA about $350,000 a year in direct revenue to the city… Read

Film

‘Midnight Rider': Sarah Jones Family Fights “Frivolous” Motion To Seal Public Record

Midnight Rider Sarah Jones Death Investigation

Court records in the ongoing wrongful death case of Sarah Jones should remain unsealed, the family of the Midnight Rider camera assistant argued today, calling rail company CSX's attempt to stop further details from escaping into the media “groundless,” “frivolous,” “desperate” and “malicious.” The back-and-forth between lawyers for the railroad company and the grieving Joneses has become increasingly accusatory in recent months. After Midnight Rider's director, producers… Read

Film

‘Midnight Rider’ Director, Producer Seek Escape From Trespass Case

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Despite settling with the family of camera assistant Sarah Jones last week, Midnight Rider's director and producer are still trying to escape the sights of rail company CSX. Randall Miller and Jody Savin today asked a Georgia court to dismiss them and their business entities from a cross-claim by CSX, whose remaining involvement in the ongoing civil suit filed by Jones' family has kept the filmmakers tethered to the wrongful death case. CSX accused Miller, Savin… Read

exclusiveBusiness

SAG Pension & Health Plan Whistleblower Craig Simmons Wasn’t First To Ring Alarms

SAG PEnsion & Health Plans scandal

EXCLUSIVE: Fully two years before whistleblower Craig Simmons alerted the U.S. Department of Labor to alleged malfeasance at the $3 billion SAG Pension & Health Plans, fellow employee Gary Mathis made virtually identical allegations to the federal agency, Deadline has learned. Mathis and Simmons both filed claims and wrongful-termination suits, with decidedly different outcomes. Mathis' claims were rejected by an arbitrator, but Simmons' claims went public, with coverage… Read

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‘Midnight Rider’ Director & Producers Reach Settlement In Wrongful Death Suit

Midnight Rider director trespassing lawsuit

The lawyer for the family of Sarah Jones said today that it has reached an agreement with Midnight Rider director Randall Miller, his wife and producer Jody Savin, and several crewmembers in the wrongful death civil lawsuit filed after their daughter was killed during production in February on a train trestle in rural Georgia. Attorney Jeff Harris said the confidential agreement had been reached with Miller, Savin, their Unclaimed Freight production company, location… Read

Business

SAG-AFTRA Relaunches Set-Safety Hotline

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SAG-AFTRA has a new safety hotline number to report unsafe working conditions: (844) SAFER SET, or (844) 723-3773. The new number — the extra letter in “safer set” is to make it easier to remember — is being printed on the back of all membership cards, which are being mailed out. The guild, which maintains that "safety remains our No. 1 priority," has long had a safety hotline, but the new number is deemed easier to remember. The guild encourages members to call the… Read

Business

Embezzlement Allegations Over SAG Pension & Health Plans End Quietly

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Allegations of widespread embezzlement at the SAG Pension & Health Plans that ruined the career of the benefit plans' longtime chief administrator Bruce Dow quietly have been settled. "That case is over," said Robin Dal Soglio, the attorney who represented Dow and the plans in a confidential arbitration of the matter. The case that started with a bang has ended with a thud. The allegations made headlines when Craig Simmons, the plans' executive director of human… Read