Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:
Sir Peter Jackson was so frustrated by a “snake” union official he was unable to think about The Hobbit for three weeks.
Documents released under order by the Ombudsman reveal the award-winning director said Cabinet minister Gerry Brownlee was “played like a fool” by Simon Whipp, a former director of Australian union Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA). …
The Government had “engaged with a snake, who now feels quite fearless”, Sir Peter said.
“I really can’t [take] much more of this toxic nonsense. All I want to do is make films! I haven’t been able to think about the movie for 3 weeks.”
The full e-mails are here. I think they show the incredible strain that Jackson was under, caused by one Australian union official aided and abetted by barely a dozen locals. MEAA is not an NZ union, and it controls the NZ Actor’s Equity which represents less than 10% of NZ actors. It was a classic case of destructive behaviour and you see what was really driving it was MEAA trying to establish a massive income stream for itself.
The e-mail from New Line Cinema is also revealing. They state that “momentum was growing to find alternatives – including New South Wales” and detail how there would be less risk there. Anyone who claims the films were in no danger of moving is dreaming.