The Writers Guild of America-West has threatened to bar a prolific producer of television movies from using guild writers unless he settles what is alleged to be millions in unpaid residuals.
Variety reports that the guild's board notified producer Larry Levinson of its position last month, stating in a letter to Levinson that the guild will refuse to enter into an agreement with any Levinson company until Levinson "fully complies with its past residuals obligations — including accrued interest — and provides assurances that its scofflaw behavior will not continue in the future.”
Larry Levinson Productions has created about 200 TV movies, with many of them airing on Hallmark Channel or in association with Hallmark Entertainment. The guild claims unpaid residuals and interest owed on 38 of those projects, according to a report on Deadline.com.
An arbitration hearing is set for Aug. 14, but the guild’s current contract expires May 1. “If Levinson doesn’t pay up, the guild says, it won’t let him sign a new deal, which would keep him from hiring WGA writers,” the Deadline report notes.
Levinson didn’t return several requests from Deadline for comment, the piece adds. “A source involved in the current dispute said Levinson told the guild that he has met all of his residuals obligations and doesn’t owe his writers anything,” the article reports.
Among Levinson's many credits are the TV movies "Rough Riders" (1997), "Love Comes Softly" (2003) and "Love's Enduring Promise" (2004).