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The Hollyweird Legal Round Up: Orson Scott Card sued by former management, and more

By 10.29.13
Dog-Lawyer

AKA “Bob Doglaw’s Blah Blog.”


Ahoy-hoy, polloi loi!

New feature!

1. Settling Scores.

Jeff “Vince Mancini” Atkins posted last week’s Roundup on Facebook (which, apparently, is still a thing). Many of you dutifully hit “Like,” but some miscreant made the following comment:

Who ever [sic] wrote this was trying so hard to be clever it was unreadable.

Now, the ‘tockus has a notoriously thick skin. My doctor has to take a running start to inject me with my “vitamin” shots, lest the needle bend. But hate is my milieu, and I redress grievances with a quickness. So to my wee nemesis I say, a clever person doesn’t “try” to be clever. Cleverness seeps out of me without cease, like jizz from your mom’s every hole. But you wouldn’t know that because you’ve never made anybody laugh without tickling their balls. Enjoy your s’mWhoreless existence, butt.

2.   Go Directly to Court; Do Not Pass Go F*ck Yourself. 

This happened.

Orson Scott Card’s former rep, Niad Management is demanding 10 percent of his income from the [Ender's Game] film. In reaction, Card filed a petition with California’s Labor Commissioner that asserted that Niad had violated the Talent Agencies Act, which says that only licensed talent agents can procure employment for clients.

Ender’s Game is proving to be much more interesting than I expected it to be. That is, slightly interesting. In addition to an unexpectedly decent review in The Bible (albeit one that starts with the phrase “anti-bullying allegory”) and a bonus quarrel with The Gays provoked by author Orson Scott Card (free advice: if you want to start a beef in the entertainment industry, work your way up to The Gays—start with, say, Inuits or Whigs), there’s also some impressive hand-that-feeds-you-biting. Card, a devout Mormon and jacket caddy, chose to bone his former manager in a time-honored way.

For reals?

The Talent Agencies Act (don’t read it, it’s laws) is the part of the California Labor Code that governs agents and managers. It was enacted in 1978, but the way it’s written forces you to read it in the Frotcast Old Timey Voice (term of art). Actual excerpts:

“No talent agency shall send any minor to any saloon . . .”

“No talent agency shall knowingly permit any persons of bad character, prostitutes, gamblers, intoxicated persons [to] . . . be employed in, the place of business of the talent agency.”

“‘Theatrical engagement’ means any engagement or employment of a person as an actor, performer, or entertainer in a circus, vaudeville, theatrical, or other entertainment, exhibition, or performance.”

There’s a whole application and licensing process required to become an agent, and you are generally limited to the amount of commission you can take—generally 10% of your client’s deal. To be a manager, however, the requirements are essentially nonexistent: a vagrant who meets a toothsome aspiring actress can become her manager in less time that it takes him to get a boner, and the usual commission is 15%.

So why the f*ck would anybody choose to be an agent instead of a manager? Partly to prove that they aren’t intoxicated prostitutes, but mostly because of weaseldick motherf*ckers like Orson Scott Card. If you’re an entertainer and you have a manager who helps get you a cool gig in a vaudeville exhibition, you owe your manager 15% of your pay. Unless they “procure” the gig for you, in which case you can claim to be outraged and file a complaint against them, resulting in them getting 100% of dick.

Managers are supposed to advise and counsel and nurture a client’s career, while agents are supposed to do the actual procuring. Why it would matter in the slightest to a writer or actor that their manager was the one who did more to get them the job than their agent did, much less why they would be aggrieved about it, I have no idea. But because claiming to be pissed may save you millions of dollars, take a wild guess as to whether this kind of thing happens frequently.

Verdict. Die slow, Orson Scott Card. Ima call you OrCa, ya pudgy bastard ya.

Calvin-and-hobbes

3. Pee on This Quote.  

Bill Watterson created Calvin and Hobbes, and is the subject of an upcoming documentary. He also said this:

“[YouTube videos based on the cartoon are] either homages or satiric riffs, and are not intended to be taken too seriously as works in their own right. Otherwise I should be talking to a copyright lawyer.”

Don’t toy with me, Watterson. Pick up a phone. Jesus.

But that’s not the nadir of the interview. Quirky artists gonna quirk. No, I take issue with the dipsh*tster asking the questions:

 “One story that’s made the rounds is that a plush toy manufacturer once delivered a box of Hobbes dolls to you unsolicited, which you promptly set ablaze. For people who share your low opinion of merchandising, this is a fairly delightful story.”

Let’s unpack this one. Watterson can make his own choices. He doesn’t want to license his retired creations, that’s on him. No law against being allergic to money, in spite of my ongoing efforts to get one passed. And if you object to certain merchandise like, say, the Holocaust-themed Shoah ‘Nuff Doo Rag, I guess that’s OK, irrespective of the enthusiasm for that product in the Sephardic community. No, the problem is a writer who shares BW’s “low opinion of merchandising.”

My dude is taking a principled stand against a child’s stuffed animal, and under particularly troubling circumstancesif you’ve read Calvin and Hobbes, the image of Watterson incinerating a plush tiger is, at the very least, not delightful. Plus, society has deemed it unacceptable to set one of them on fire unless a) you’re Liam Neeson, fleeing wolves in the icy wilderness or b) you want to create an extremely literal homage to William Blake.

Let’s hope they made the tigers difficult to ignite. You know, for kids.

4. Rhyme.

I am the king of law

There is none higher

Sucker MCs

Call me esquire

Stay up.


TAGSBill WattersonBUTTOCKUS FINCHENDER'S GAMEHOLLYWEIRD LEGAL ROUND UPLAWSUITSNIAD MANAGEMENTORSON SCOTT CARD

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