Film and TV Workers to Wyden: Don’t Play Political Games with Entertainment Jobs
Author:  Howard Gantman
Date:  06/02/2011

The union representing film technicians, stagehands, projectionists and many other entertainment industry workers took Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) to task yesterday for saying he plans to hold up the PROTECT IP Act. 

Here’s the statement from Matthew D. Loeb, international president of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), courtesy of Oregon Film and TV Dollars, a website run by Portland-area actor Harold Phillips:

“We are disappointed that Senator Wyden has used a petty political maneuver in an attempt to derail a bill focused on foreign rogue websites that steal copyrighted content from US companies and cost tens of thousands of good middle-class American jobs every year. The Protect IP Act was voted unanimously out of committee and is co-sponsored by a dozen-and-a-half of the most distinguished members of the Senate. It’s one thing to oppose a bill, debate it vigorously and vote against it. But it’s another thing entirely to resort to a cheap parlor trick, to thwart the opportunity to debate and discuss the merits of a proposed law. We’re frankly baffled that Senator Wyden would pervert the democratic process like this, particularly knowing that his own constituents in Oregon working on “Leverage,” “Portlandia” and other shows are being victimized by rogue sites. This bill will also combat bogus medications and counterfeit auto parts from being unleashed on unsuspecting American consumers. Senator Wyden ought not to be playing political games with a bill with such widespread consumer safety and jobs implications.”