The silence is deafening from the WGA West and Charles Holland.
The guild and its new president have clammed up over questions about the truth of Holland’s background. With no explanation, the WGA yanked the 2002 article “Soldier of Fortune” about Holland that ran in its “Written By” monthly magazine.
In that story, Holland claimed to have served in the Army’s Special Forces and to have attended the U. of Illinois on a football scholarship — assertions challenged in a Los Angeles Times report last week.
Despite the guild’s stance that Holland’s past is a non-issue, the lack of a response has unnerved a significant number of the WGA West’s 8,000 members, many of whom believe the controversy could undercut the guild as it heads into tough contract negotiations with studios and nets.
The WGA West board elevated Holland on Jan. 6 to replace Victoria Riskin, who ankled because she was found by an independent investigator to have been ineligible for last year’s election. Eric Hughes, who raised the eligibility issue during his campaign against Riskin, said he has spurned a request by the board to officially endorse Holland as a way of settling the issue.
“The guild is not giving me the information I need, and I’ve been told by board members that it doesn’t matter whether Holland told the truth,” Hughes told Daily Variety. “I and every member I’ve talked to disagree.”