Showbiz Sandbox 359: Entertainment Workers Put Faith In More Perfect Unions

March 13, 2017

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Trade unions and guilds are not a new concept in the entertainment industry, yet they seem to be making headlines lately as more niche craftspeople elect to join them or have them negotiate their contracts. Last week the largest employer of Spanish-language performers in the U.S. voted to join SAG-AFTRA and the United Scenic Artists, which represents set designers on Broadway, was able to sign its first contract with the League of Off-Broadway Theatres & Producers.

One major reason for all this recent union activity is the growing number of entertainment industry workers whose pay falls below a living wage. When the star of a hit telenovela airing on an NBCUniversal network needs to hold a second job as an Uber driver, you know there must be a problem.

Meanwhile, the influx of financing into Hollywood coming from China may be coming to an end. The Chinese government has begun to restrict the outflow of capital from the country to stem what they deem “irrational” foreign investments while at the same time stabilizing local currency. This new regulatory oversight helped kill Wanda’s $1 billion deal for Dick Clark Productions.

Of course, we also cover the week’s top entertainment news stories including how a rapper made history by knocking himself off the top of the album charts with his next release, HBO heads to Latin America with original programming and why we’ll have to wait a little longer for those “Avatar” sequels.

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comScore Announces Official Worldwide Box Office Results for Weekend of March 12, 2017
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/comscore-announces-official-worldwide-box-office-results-for-weekend-of-march-12-2017-300422335.html

Slovak Film Breaks Opening Record in Domestic Cinemas
http://www.filmneweurope.com/news/slovakia-news/item/114138-box-office-slovak-film-breaks-opening-record-in-domestic-cinemas

China Box Office: ‘Dog’s Purpose’ Topples ‘Logan’ for Quiet Weekend Win
https://variety.com/2017/film/asia/china-box-office-dogs-purpose-weekend-win-1202007447/

Sources: Paramount’s Chinese Partners Haven’t Paid a Penny of Promised $1 Billion
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/sources-paramounts-chinese-partners-havent-paid-a-penny-promised-1-billion-984679

The $1-Billion Deal to Sell Dick Clark Productions to China’s Wanda Group Is Dead
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-wanda-dick-clark-deal-20170309-story.html

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson – BookFilter
http://bookfilter.com/2016/07/05/new-york-2140/

Marilyn in Manhattan by Elizabeth Winder
http://bookfilter.com/2016/05/03/marilyn-in-manhattan/

Riggio Reiterates B&N’s Commitment to Restoring Growth
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/trade-shows-events/article/72994-riggio-reiterates-b-n-s-commitment-to-restoring-growth.html

Despite Netflix and Amazon Prime, Most of the World Watches Pirated Content
https://www.techinasia.com/most-viewers-watch-pirated-content

Pearl Jam Invite All Five Drummers to Rock Hall Induction Ceremony
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/pearl-jam-invite-all-five-drummers-to-rock-hall-induction-w471689

Samantha Bee’s ‘Full Frontal’ Apologizes for ‘Nazi Hair’ Joke
https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/samantha-bee-full-frontal-apology-cpac-nazi-hair-cancer-1202005659/

Future Replaces Himself at No. 1 and Sets a Billboard Record
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/06/arts/music/future-billboard-album-chart.html?_r=0

Turner, Warner Bros. to Launch Boomerang Cartoon Streaming-Subscription Service for $5 Monthly
https://variety.com/2017/digital/news/boomerang-cartoon-streaming-subscription-time-warner-turner-wb-1202003660/

Disney CEO Bob Iger Defends Participation on Donald Trump Panel
https://variety.com/2017/film/news/disney-bob-iger-trump-panel-1202004496/

HBO Ramps up Brazilian Production
https://www.rapidtvnews.com/2017031146475/hbo-ramps-up-brazilian-production.html

‘Avatar 2’ Delayed Again, James Cameron Says 2018 Release ‘Is Not Happening’
https://variety.com/2017/film/news/avatar-2-delayed-sequels-james-cameron-1202006303/

Telemundo Actors Vote Overwhelmingly to Join SAG-AFTRA
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-telemundo-sag-aftra-20170308-story.html

Off-Broadway League and United Scenic Artists Ink First Contract
http://www.americantheatre.org/2017/03/09/off-broadway-league-and-united-scenic-artists-ink-first-contract/

ESPN Expects to Lay Off More Talent in Cost-Cutting Move
https://variety.com/2017/tv/news/espn-talent-layoffs-cost-cutting-1202002806/

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