THE HOBBIT Filming Back On
Last week the Australian-based Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance called for an actors’ boycott of THE HOBBIT, stating that New Zealand performers had non-union contracts. The contracts had no minimum guarantees of wages, working conditions, or residual payments for actors. Peter Jackson stated New Zealand actors who did not belong to the US based Screen Actors’ Guild had never before received residuals. Warner Bros has agreed to provide money for the New Zealand actors to share in the profits from The Hobbit films.
Today the Screen Actors Guild and New Zealand’s Actors Equity released statements that the blacklist against The Hobbit has been lifted. This would mean good news for Middle Earth, right? No uprooting of hobbit holes?
That might not be the case. Jackson and producing partner (and wife) Fran Walsh released a statement stating that the damage inflicted on [New Zealand’s] film industry by NZ Equity/MEAA is long since done.”
Warner Bros. will be visiting New Zealand next week to make arrangements to move the production out of the country.
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Jackson is still pushing to keep The Hobbit in New Zealand, but stated that ultimately the decision rests with Warner Bros.