DreamWorks’ Bitter Tail of Two Unions

The Los Angeles Times reports that The Writers Guild of America’s West Coast division president, Victoria Riskin, is circulating a letter to members denouncing DreamWorks SKG’s insistence that writers be represented by the Animation Guild Local 839.

At the center of the dispute are 10 writers and two exec. producers on DreamWorks’ upcoming CG animated comedy Father of the Pride. The show, set to air on NBC next year, goes behind the scenes with a family of white lions in Siegfried and Roy’s Las Vegas magic act.

DreamWorks, a member of the Animation Guild, says its animation unit is legally bound by a labor pact to have its writers represented by the organization and denies allegations that the aim of the arrangement is to get by with paying writers less and offering fewer benefits.

The Animation Guild reportedly fired a letter back to Riskin expressing its outrage over The Writer’s Guild infringing on its territory. DreamWorks claims it is simply caught in the middle of a rivalry between two unions.