Last night I got emailed a press release from my buddy, Harlan Ellison, writer extraordinaire and the most courageous one I know. During my time on the WGA board of directors, I was known as "the pit bull of writers' creative rights". But Harlan is the daddy pit bull of them all. Lock him in a room with a bunch of directors and producers, only one man is coming out standing...and it ain't gonna be any director or producer.
Harlan's press release announced that he is suing Paramount Pictures for his share of STAR TREK merchandising. As some of you Trekkies no doubt know, Harlan's Hugo Award andWGA Award-winning episode, CITY ON THE EDGE OF FOREVER, is one of the most famous and beloved episodes ever, having reached iconic status. According to Harlan's suit, Paramount has been exploiting his script with an array of merchandising, from novels based on his teleplay to a talking Christmas ornament, and ain't paid him diddley, as required by the Guild's collective bargaining agreement.
Harlan is also reluctantly suing his own guild of which he has been a member for forty-five years for, as his suit claims, failure to act in his behalf in his claim against Paramount. But he's suing the WGA for only one dollar, court costs, and lawyer's fees.
Writers and Trekkies take note. The issue at the core of this is an important one. Corporate greed and the internet are making it harder every day for all creative artists to maintain control over their intellectual property, copyright, and the monies that rightfully accrue from them. Harlan has been in the vanguard of protecting his rights against internet exploitation, spending considerable time and money, to successfully sue several internet big guns in getting his work removed from sites that have posted them illegally and without permission. Needless to say, the WGA must always remain viligant in enforcing the contractual rights of its members gained through our collecting bargaining agreements with the producers.
In brighter news, I got an email from Deanna Dunagan, frequently invoked in my London Theatre Diary blogs below. She's returned from her triumphant run of AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY at the National Theatre to her toddling town of Chicago only to score a CBS comedy pilot entitled "Big D", a nickname for both Dallas and her character, Donna Dupree. Oddly enough, her initials are also "DD" and she is a native Texan. The series will also feature Chris Parnell, an SNL alum. She shoots the pilot this April in Hollywood. May it go to series, Deanna!
Finally, comedian Steve Martin has agreed to pay for a production of his play PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, which was banned by the Superindent of an Oregon High School when a parent protested and circulated a petition with 137 signatures on it. Martin believes the play is being unfairly characterize and misrepresented.
AN ADDENDUM EDIT: With regards to this AIG bonus thing, will someone please explain to me how one manages to receive a bonus for failure. I thought one received a bonus when one's performance helped the company to succeed. When the company goes into the dumper, seems to me no one should be getting bonuses...
Welcome to Pogue's Pages!
I'm POGUE...known by many as Chuck Pogue, a few as Charles Pogue, and billed professionally as Charles Edward Pogue...just because it really looks BIG splashed across a theatre programme or a movie screen. From that last remark and the profile on the left, you can see I'm a theatre man...And the term "theatre" encompasses stage, film, TV. I've been shooting my mouth off on other people's blogs and message boards for forever. So having finally gotten the hang of it, I've decided to build my own soapbox from which I can pontificate, blather, and muse...mostly on theatre, film, writing, music, books...but ultimately anything that interests me, irritates me, or just catches my fancy. I invite you to join me. I'll try to be faithful and update regularly, so that when you visit there will always be something fresh percolating and maybe even provocative that we can discuss, dissect, or debate.
Charles Edward Pogue
Charles Edward Pogue