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Posted by Tom Sito on April 11, 2000 at 15:02:51:

This thursday April 13th from 11:30 to 1:30 pm Los Angeles area animation
artists as well as the Screen Actors Guild, Directors Guild. The Film and
Television Action Committee and a number of other Hollywood groups will
gather infront of the KCET offices for a protest.

Okay, so what's the big deal about picketing PBS?

The Public Broadcasting System based in Virginia is totally depended upon

private donations through affiliates like KCET Los Angeles and WNET New

York. They are dependent also upon tax dollars through the National

Endowment for the Humanities.

Most animation folk are pretty hip, with-it people who believe in what PBS

does. Many of us are PBS subscribers. This year despite all the hoopla in

the press about how Hollywood is booming, Hollywood animators are facing a

shrinking job market and downward pressure on their take-home pay. Records

show we have lost up to 1,000 jobs, that's over one third of all our work in

just 18 months!

So it made us sad when we heard PBS had concluded a big contract to send

their animation work to Canada. It wasn't just a few shows or some

subcontracting, they made a deal for AN ENTIRE BLOCK OF PROGRAMMING. The
whole enchilada. Nelvana, one company they negotiated the deal with, had
built their company

with heavy subsidies and tax credits from the Ontario Provincial Government

and now they have laid off their Canadian artists so they can send their

U.S. work to be done in RED CHINA! The other, Cinar of Montreal, is currently
wracked with accusations of misuse of $10 million of investors funds.

When the Animators Union wrote the chairman of PBS to complain, we were

ignored at first. After we went public in the press we received a prompt

reply from a PBS vice-chairperson defending their decision. They said they

were only spending 4% of their budget, $9 million dollars US in Canadian

Animation. This is in direct conflict with Nelvana's own press releases and

website where they claim the PBS deal is worth $40 million dollars US.

The answer from PBS also claimed that the reason they went to Canada was

because "no comparable US animation firm came to bid or their work" This

statement is hotly denied by several studio owners here in Hollywood. They

claim PBS never bothered to return their calls, they had already

predetermined their deal.

Okay, Disney, Warners, Nick, they're all doing it too. If Rupert Murdoch or

Sumner Redstone sends my job to China there's not too much I can do. But why

should I give donations and pay taxes to an organization to further

undermine my job security? I mean C'MON ALREADY! We gotta put our foot down


This ain't a Union vs. Non-Union issue. WE'RE ALL AFFECTED! COME EVEN IF

YOU'RE NOT A UNION PERSON! If you're in production, if you're a small

employer, if you're a tech, THIS IS YOUR FIGHT TOO! THE MORE PEOPLE WE SHOW,


Nobody in the media or Sacramento even knew this issue of work leaving
Hollywood existed until SAG, the DGA and several large IATSE unions put
together a large rally and marched on Sacramento last summer. THEN the news
suddenly took notice.

So if you can please give us one hour to show the media how important this is
to us. Your employer will understand. Heck, it's his career too. One long
lunch hour to

demonstrate to the world that we in LA won't take this screwing around with

our livelyhoods quietly.

PLEASE COME AND JOIN US. This is not about picking on Canadians or who is American and who is not. If you live here, if your family is here, then this

is your fight too. Give us an hour and a half of your time to show the world

we are united and we are pissed!

See you April 13th in front of KCET in Silverlake at Noon.


11:30 am to 1:30 pm

4401 W. Sunset Blvd. (at Fountain), Los Angeles


Thank You,

-- Tom Sito,

Motion Picture Screen Cartoonists and Affiliated Optical Electronic and

Graphic Arts,

Local 839 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employes

and Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts

of the United States, its Territories and Canada

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