George Clooney vs. the WGA

LeatherheadsHere’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.)

Story at Variety, via Writer’s Blog, via writersstrike.

7 Replies to “George Clooney vs. the WGA”

  1. Too much insider lingo here for me. Please splain what “financial core” means for the rest of us, as well as what exactly is at stake, and also why I should care.

  2. Fi-core = relinquishing voting privileges whilst paying dues and benefiting from union settlements. I think Clooney made the right choice here. Although in general I am anti-union, I think the WGA had a genuine beef here which they deserved to be heard on, but their refusal of Clooney’s request was wrong.

  3. And for my next post: George Clooney vs. Fabio! It’s really a shame the little Cajun place up on Sunset closed, my husband used to see him (Fabio) there all the time.

    Thunderboltfan–it is entirely up to you whether you care, so I can’t tell you that. Financial Core is explained far better than I could manage at Writer’s Blog (linked in the post), and Udayan Tripathi has summed it up nicely here (thanks!).

  4. FYI, for a good Fabio sighting, just go to Gold’s Gym in Hollywood off of Cole.

    My last several Fabio sightings were of him were there as he was crossing the street to/from the parking lot.

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