After the recent despicable actions of Unite Here Local 11 at the Disneyland resort, I had resolved not to comment on their campaign for improved working conditions and better health care coverage for their members. But their current campaign is much more powerful and, if you ask me, more of what they should have been doing in the first place – hitting Disney where it hurts, in the wallet.
In this case they’re picketing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences screenings of the Disney/Pixar film Toy Story 3. AMPAA is the group that hands out the Academy Awards. Disney has been angling to get TS3 nominated for a best picture nod, which usually means another bump in DVD sales. But Unite Here informational pickets are asking AMPAA members not to vote while the dispute is going on. This is pretty low hurdle, it’s not like Unite Here is asking members to not do any work with Disney, just don’t vote for them.
What put me over the edge to report on this was this story in The Animation Guild blog . Steve Hulett makes the point that the chances of TS3 winning a best picture or best screenplay were probably already pretty low:
if I were on the Academy’s roster I wouldn’t vote for the picture because it is, except for SAG voice actors, a non-union enterprise, and I think it’s a bad idea for unionized entertainment workers to aid and abet pictures made outside of the House of Labor. I say that WGA writers work on Pixar projects without benefit of contract, and I can’t imagine any of them voting for a “Best Screenplay” Oscar for Up or Toy Story 3 against a picture written under a WGA contract.
So even if Unite Here claims victory here, they really can’t.