The president of the American Federation of Musicians lashes out on YouTube
Taylor Swift, Arcade Fire and the Decemberists are contributing songs to "The Hunger Games" — but the film's soundtrack isn't music to everyone's ears.
In a video posted on YouTube, American Federation of Musicians union President Ray Hair slams the producers and Lionsgate for recording the score in London instead of with musicians contracted to the American Federation of Musicians' union in the U.S. and Canada.
After the union learned Lionsgate had made preparations to record the movie's score in London, Hair says he contacted the company's music executives to protest — but the production heads have refused to budge.
"There are decision-makers in the business who don't think professional musicians should be compensated fairly, under AFM terms and conditions that are the standard of the industry," Hair says in the video.
Saying "The Hunger Games" is receiving tax subsidies for filming in North Carolina, Hair says, "It's not right for a $2 billion company to go to Europe on taxpayer dollars and deprive … AFM musicians of a decent living. An American movie with American actors and American crews, with a soundtrack that's uniquely American. … It's just plain wrong."
Hair says the movie's actors, writers, stage crew and other workers are being paid fair wages, health care, pension contributions and royalty payments according to union standards. "But for the musicians? Zero, zilch, nada," he says.
Lionsgate announced Saturday that Swift's "Safe & Sound" will be the movie's lead song.
A Lionsgate spokesperson declined comment.
Watch Hair's video: