Here’s a surprise: George Clooney, member of the Writers Guild of America, West, has gone Financial Core.
Actually, he did it last fall. Quietly and with tremendous class, not wanting to make the union look bad during the impending strike. His beef? He’d been denied writing credit on Leatherheads (which opened Friday). He’d taken the languishing script, by Duncan Brantley and Rick Reilly, and rewritten (according to him) about 80% of it. He wasn’t looking for sole credit, but wanted to share credit with the screenplay’s creators. In a 2-1 decision, WGA arbitrators said no. Rather than withdraw his membership, Clooney went fi-core.
I am pro-union. I’m the first to say that they are FAR from perfect, but we need unions. This time, though? I am pro-Clooney.
During the strike I had a meal with someone who tried to tell me that it was OK for me to work during the strike because I could “just go fi-core.” He simply did not understand why that was a totally unacceptable idea. And I am really sad that the union put Clooney in the position where it was the better choice for him. (Please note that I am not saying it was the only choice–it wasn’t–or that it’s the choice I’d have made–I don’t know what I’d have done. But it’s what he did and it’s done. No do-overs.)