Petition calls on Lionsgate to uphold industry standards and end practice of offshoring film scoring work
SANTA MONICA, CALIFORNIA (May 13, 2014) — Today members of the American Federation of Musicians made a special delivery at Lionsgate corporate headquarters in Santa Monica of a petition signed by over 12,000 supporters of their Listen Up! campaign. Los Angeles County Federation of Labor Executive Secretary-Treasurer Maria Elena Durazo, Santa Monica City Councilman Kevin McKeown, and Pastor Bridie Roberts of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice were present to support the musicians and be part of the delivery delegation.
“L.A. is the entertainment capital of the world,” says Durazo. “Working women and men in our communities demand that working musicians get treated with the same level of professional respect as other workers. Today, we are asking Lionsgate to listen up and do the right thing.”
Listen Up! — a campaign for fairness for musicians working in the motion picture, TV and film industry — launched nationwide April 10 with events in Los Angeles, Atlanta and New York City. In less than a month, an online petition generated thousands of signatures in support of the musicians’ effort to call out Lionsgate for treating U.S. musicians unfairly by offshoring movie soundtrack recordings, many of which are for productions that take film tax credits funded by U.S. taxpayers.
“Santa Monica is a community of creative innovators and artists,” said McKeown. “We hope our local companies like Lionsgate will respect this and use the incredible talent available here at home, contributing to our shared local economy, rather than ship soundtracking jobs offshore.”
The AFM has made attempts to open a dialogue with Lionsgate on the offshoring issue, but the company has declined. With today’s petition delivery, musicians are hopeful that the show of the Listen Up! campaign’s widespread support will motivate Lionsgate to recognize the importance of this issue to musicians and taxpayers across the country.
“We are delivering these petitions and asking on behalf of the public that Lionsgate stop its practice of taking tax credits paid for by taxpayers in our communities and then offshoring work that would have benefitted our communities,” said Elizabeth Hedman, violinist and member of AFM Local 47. “We would like Lionsgate to uphold industry standards and work with musicians on ways to resolve this issue for both the industry and working musicians.”
The Listen Up! campaign is an initiative of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, the AFL-CIO, and community members who support dignity and justice for professional musicians. For more information, visit www.listenupnow.org.