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Verrone cops award for best performance in a strike

November 11, 2008 |  9:28 pm


Here's one award the studios won't be heralding in ads in the Hollywood trades.

Creative Screenwriting magazine, sponsor of the annual Screenwriting Expo in Los Angeles, on Friday will honor Patric Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, with its "Creative Screenwriting Person of the Year." Ctlogo

Verrone's writing credits include "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson," the 1990s WB Kids series "Pinky" and the former Fox show "Futurama." But it was Verrone's leadership of the union during its 100-day strike that ended in February that was singled out by the magazine, citing his "contributions to advance the interest of screenwriters."

The strike culminated in a contract, modeled on an agreement previously negotiated by directors, that was hailed by writers as a landmark deal. Among other things, the pact established residual payments for writers whose shows are streamed on the Internet.

Said Bill Donovan, publisher of Creative Screenwriting: "Writers stuck their necks out, suffered financial sacrifices, walked peaceful picket lines, stood by each other, and won critically important matters of money and principle."

Not enough, apparently, to mollify another powerful constituency in Hollywood: the Screen Actors Guild, whose leaders blasted the key aspects of the agreement crafted by the other unions. The actors union has been without a contract since June 30, and its leaders have been meeting with a federal mediator in a last-ditch and seemingly improbable effort to avoid a showdown with the studios.

-- Richard Verrier