California Attorney General William Lockyer has offered a strong endorsement of the Producers Guild of America’s campaign to crack down on excessive credits.
“Like many who love movies and television, I find the controversy swirling about credits to be troubling,” Lockyer said in an address Saturday during the PGA Awards gala at Culver Studios. “As California’s chief law enforcement officer, I have long campaigned for truth in advertising. It is essential to maintaining the kind of trust that free markets require to function properly.”
The PGA — which has no collective bargaining agreements — announced in October that it had asked each studio and network to agree to its code of conduct for determining the “produced by” credit for features and the executive producer credit in TV. That means including language in each producer contract giving final authority to the PGA’s arbitration process if there’s a dispute.
The PGA is threatening to seek an injunction barring use of the disputed credits, based on violating California’s false-advertising statutes, though November’s passage of Proposition 64 (which limits “frivolous lawsuits” where no harm is apparent) means such a legal action probably would have to be initiated by a government agency such as the attorney general’s office.
No studio has signed on yet to the PGA code. Lockyer didn’t offer any specifics Saturday as to how he might become involved in a legal action.
“And to the rest of the industry, I hope you recognize that the era of handing out unearned producer credits should come to an end. Credits should be earned, not negotiated,” he said.
PGA president Kathleen Kennedy told the audience of 800 on Saturday that the initiative was gaining momentum.
“As the roots of our efforts take hold, something more than a campaign is being created,” she said.