The battle between Stan Brooks and the American Federation of Television & Radio Artists over unpaid “Sordid Lives” residuals has continued with no quick resolution in sight.
The union has spurned Brooks’ recent demand that he be removed from AFTRA’s “do not work” list because he and his company Once Upon a Time Films are not AFTRA signatories. In a letter sent Friday to Brooks’ attorney, AFTRA said the demand has no weight, given that Brooks agreed with an arbitrator ruled last month that his companies were liable for $588,291 in unpaid residuals, $87,067 in unpaid health and retirement contributions and $503,753 in late payment penalties.
“In such circumstances, there is absolutely no merit whatsoever in your claim that Once Upon A Time was inappropriately included in AFTRA’s unfair producer/do not work notice,” the letter said.
Brooks was not immediately available for comment. He warned repeatedly last month that he would file for bankruptcy if members of four Hollywood unions turned down his $242,000 offer to settle alleged nonpayment of $1.6 million for “Sordid Lives: The Series.”
The four unions filed a petition in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to confirm their arbitration award against Brooks and his company Once Upon A Time.
AFTRA spokesman Chris de Haan said the union filed a petition in Los Angeles Superior Court Aug. 30 to confirm the arbitration award against Brooks for $1.2 million. Should the court affirm the award, AFTRA members would have priority in collecting their money if there’s a bankruptcy filing.
Brooks is a longtime TV producer with credits including “Broken Trail,” “Prayers for Bobby,” “At Risk,” “The Capture of the Green River Killer” and “Call Me: The Rise and Fall of Heidi Fleiss.”
He’s asserted that his financial difficulties stem from the production company losing $700,000 due to the 2008 bankruptcy of payroll company Axium Intl. while “Sordid Lives” was shooting with production being completed thanks to his mortgaging his home and securities.
The comedy series premiered on Logo in 2008 and starred Bonnie Bedelia, the late Rue McClanahan, Olivia Newton-John, Beth Grant and Caroline Rhea.