Can’t we all just get along? Apparently not, when it comes to the members of the New Zealand Actors’ Equity and its financier, the Australian Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA). They are demanding that the producers of The Hobbit sit down for contract negotiations. Well, Peter Jackson has had enough and is done being silent. Jackson comments vehemently on this epic-ly shitty situation. He comments,
” My personal opinion is that this is a grab for power. It does not represent a problem that needs a solution. There will always be differing opinions when it comes down to work and conditions, but I have always attempted to treat my actors and crew with fairness and respect. We have created a very favourable profit sharing pool for the non-Union actors on The Hobbit — and now the Union is targeting us, despite the fact that we have always respected SAG conditions and residuals… I can’t see beyond the ugly spectre of an Australian bully-boy, using what he perceives as his weak Kiwi cousins to gain a foothold in this country’s film industry. They want greater membership, since they get to increase their bank balance.”
And if things don’t cool down soon Jackson is threatening to move his “precious” to Eastern Europe. About this Jackson states,
“There is a twisted logic to seeing NZ humiliated on the world stage, by losing the Hobbit to Eastern Europe. Warners would take a financial hit that would cause other studios to steer clear of New Zealand.”
So in the end, it all comes down to greed… talk about life imitating art!