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Warner Bros withheld Hobbit statement

Friday 1 Mar 2013 7:52 a.m.

More evidence has emerged showing Warner Bros withheld the announcement that Actors Equity had agreed to lift its boycott on the Hobbit movies.

The Council of Trade Unions has released emails in which the studio's legal counsel, Stephen Carroll, acknowledges on October 18, 2010, that the actors’ union intended lifting the boycott, Radio New Zealand reports.

Mr Carroll worked on a joint statement with Actors Equity, but it was never released.

Two days later, on October 20, local film workers marched through Wellington protesting against the union's opposition to Government moves to keep the movies in New Zealand.

The CTU says Warner Bros and the Government wanted the workers to continue believing their jobs were threatened to justify moves to change labour laws.

It isn't clear why Actors Equity didn't make the announcement itself, without waiting for Warner Bros to agree on a joint statement.

It appears the union thought further discussions might be needed and didn't want to go it alone.

The Government on Monday released 18 emails which also showed ministers knew the boycott was going to be lifted before the demonstration in Wellington.


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