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August 31, 2015

Sit Down, Shut Up writers stand up and walk out

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 16th 2008 2:28PM

FOX logoAnd you thought that all that business with the WGA strike was over.

The writers for the new animated FOX show Sit Down, Shut Up have walked out, saying they were misled by Sony Pictures. They thought that under the agreement reached a few months ago they would be represented by the Writer's Guild of America but Sony actually has them covered under the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Under their rules, writers don't get all those things they fought for, including new media (online, DVD, etc) money or even residuals.

Unfortunately, the writers are pretty much stuck, because Sony has had this deal with IATSE for a decade. Sony has sent the writers breach of contract letters and legal proceedings could begin.

Sit Down, Shut Up is a new animated show from Arrested Development creator Mitchell Hurwitz. It's going to be executive produced by two former Simpsons producers, Josh Weinstein and Bill Oakley, and has an all-star cast of voices, including Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, Cheri Oteri, Will Forte, and Henry Winkler.

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Thanks Brent! That actually made sence to me.

June 17 2008 at 2:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

How exactly are they "theatrical stage employees"? I'm not seeing where writers fall under the IATSE umbrella as described on their site.

I know that the animation writing was a little hazy from the strike for some reason. This is an obvious scam by Sony, but what took the writers so long to figure this out?

June 16 2008 at 5:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Skapig's comment
Brent McKee

IATSE is essentially a big umbrella union. They cover what used to be the Cartoonist Guild and at most of the established studios the Cartoonist Guild represents animation writers. This was set up under the notion that cartoons didn't really have writers back when the Cartoonist Guild was established - they had people who contributed gags and story men who put them in order and created the storyboards. Even though that has changed over the years IATSE maintains the fiction that animation writers are really just the same as the gag men and story men of the old days. There have been attempts to break the writers away - and by most accounts most of the animation writers want their WGA card, in part for the residuals and in part because the IATSE business agents tend to be more on the side of the companies than the workers they supposedly represent - but the NLRB has tended to land on the side of IATSE when the writers have tried to get out of the Cartoonist Guild.

June 17 2008 at 1:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Ouch. Poor Mitch Hurwitz, I just want him recognised as the comedy god he is. Hope they resolve this soon, but surely someone should have spotted this months ago?

Meanwhile, if he ever googles himself: Sir, all us fans, new and old, are still hoping for a shiny, lovable AD film!

June 16 2008 at 2:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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