Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Peter Jackson: Liar

Back in October, LOTR producer Peter Jackson led a public campaign against the local actors union, claiming that an international boycott of The Hobbit in support of better employment conditions would force the film overseas. It turns out he was lying to us. An email he sent to the Minister of Economic Development, released under the OIA, shows what he really thought:

Sir Peter Jackson told the Government he did not believe an international actors' boycott would force The Hobbit overseas, emails show.

The message, sent to the office of Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee on October 18, is in stark contrast to comments the film-maker made earlier in the month.


"There is no connection between the blacklist (and it's eventual retraction) and the choice of production base for The Hobbit," he wrote.

"What Warners requires for The Hobbit is the certainty of a stable employment environment and the ability to conduct its business in such as way that it feels its $500 million investment is as secure as possible."

The October 18 email also suggests Sir Peter thought the boycott had been lifted, even though he said in television interviews three days later he was unsure if it had been officially ditched.

Jackson continued to lie about the "threat" posed by the boycott, even though he did not believe there was one, in order to shake down the government for millions in additional subsidies for his project. And the government continued to repeat his lie - despite being told by Jackson that he did not think it was an issue - in order to "justify" its corrupt and repressive Hobbit Enabling Act, which reduced actors to peonage. The problem is that neither had thought about the Official Information Act, which makes all of their correspondence on the issue public. The question for us is now that their lies have been exposed, what are we going to do about it?