Don’t shut down town

Variety editorial

The guilds need to get it together.

Studios and talent agencies, as Daily Variety reported Tuesday, are starting to gird for a potential work stoppage pending negotiations by the Screen Actors Guild and the Writers Guild of America before May and June contract deadlines.

While such uncertainty is never reassuring, the credibility of WGA prexy Charles Holland has been called into question after his resume didn’t check out. WGA West board members gave him a vote of quasi-confidence Tuesday, backing him 10-6.

SAG members do not face the same leadership crisis as the WGA, but they are a wholly unpredictable lot.

Residue from the de facto strike in 2001 is still appearing on movie screens — films that were rushed into production to meet the deadline. The same anxious pattern will soon emerge unless there are negotiators viewed by the producers as having the utmost integrity.

There are some indications that Holland, despite his other merits, does not meet that description.

Is another exercise in disruption and chaos required for a fair deal to be struck? We hope not.

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