Woody and the gang have been snubbed by the WGA. But that’s not all. So have “The King’s Speech,” “Winter’s Bone,” “Another Year,” and “Blue Valentine.”
Wait…snubbed might be the wrong word. In fact, it is the wrong word.
The correct word is “ineligible.”
For one reason or another these films failed to meet the standards set forth by the WGA award rule committee. The most common two are:
1. It was not developed and produced by a WGA signatory company.
2. They forgot to fill out the award show application.
It’s hard to be snubbed for an award you were not deserving of in the first place. I’m not commenting on the quaility of the films because, to be honest — and I rarely am — I’ve only seen one of them. As a parent of two little girls I think you can guess which one. (Hint: It’s not “Blue Valentine.”)
To recap thus far: Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was snubbed. “Toy Story 3” was not.
What most of the media, blogosphere and facebook/twitter ranters are either forgetting or neglecting is that the WGA is a private organization. A guild. A union. [It was hard keeping a straight face with that last one]. The WGA is not the Academy Awards. The Academy is…well I’m not exactly sure but trust me on this — they are not the same.
Honoring non-qualifying WGA scripts would be the equivalent of giving the Heisman Award to a pro football player because he gained more yards. He — or she — is not in the NCAA.
What’s interesting about movies like “Toy Story 3” being left out is much more sinister. It appears the large studios like to legally skirt the WGA rules while developing certain films. Especially animation films. And some — okay most — of the quality films they release are pick-ups of small independents that have been developed and produced outside of the jurisdiction of the WGA. In the end, the studios may save millions from not having to pay guild minimums, residuals, pension & welfare, etc.
That’s what is important.
Why is everyone crying about silly awards when the real story is money? So now the WGA — in the post “Stupidest Strike Ever” era — is holding the line for their private awards as they fight the fight to get these projects covered during the development process.
Or maybe I am wrong about all of this. If you feel that is the case then discontinue reading right now and go back to using your computer for what it was meant be used for:
porn bettering society.
All this is hoopla is really nothing more than an indictment of the quality of projects the studios are producing in-house. Instead of making movies that might qualify for these shiny awards, they buy projects starring people like, oh say — Will Ferrell or Jennifer Anniston. Projects they think (hope) will make money whether they are good or not. And they are usually not. And they don’t. Make money. [Please see “Land of the Lost” and “The Bounty Hunter.”].
It safe to say many — most — all — of the good films are being made independently, outside of the jurisdiction of the WGA. And they will in turn get honored at the Oscars. And if they are not then we can begin tossing around the “snub” word. The problem is that many people think of the WGA awards as an Oscar precursor/barometer and if the WGA passes on the script then it must not be good. These are what I call stupid people or their more commonly know title — Academy Members.
Cynical and conspiracy minded folks are whispering that the studios are pushing this WGA snubbing storyline to besmirch the guilds — and get some nice free press for their Oscar-eligible movies. What better press is there than a news outlet saying these films are not eligible for the WGA award but are eligible for the Oscars? It’s a round about way of calling them all Oscar caliber films without saying it.
On the other hand, others say the WGA is tightening up their rules to embarrass the studios and shine a light on their anti-union policies.
Or maybe that’s just a rumor I’m trying to start after analyzing it myself.
Because it is.