In an attempt at mending fences, Rep. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) has invited the Hollywood unions to Washington D.C. for a runaway production confab.
Move comes in the wake of negative reaction from Watson’s April 2 letter – signed by 39 members of Congress – to Jack Valenti urging Universal to cancel plans to shoot “Cinderella Man” in Toronto. Unions were perturbed over Watson, who’s district includes Hollywood, not having consulted them in advance and for violating long-standing protocol by attacking a studio’s business decision.
Valenti subsequently defended the use of Toronto’s Maple Leaf Gardens as a creative necessity.
Watson, who’s heads the Congressional Entertainment Caucus, said she’s asked member unions of the Hollywood Labor Coalition to make a presentation to the Caucus on the impact of runaway production on U.S. jobs and the economy. She also reiterated support for anti-runaway provisions in the pending tax credit legislation in the Senate version of the Jumpstart Our Business Strength (JOBS) bill
“Runaway production is a very real and serious problem that has caused many job losses in my district,” she said. “My constituents are suffering when they cannot work enough hours to qualify for health insurance, make house or car payments, and put food on the table for their families.”