The Writers Guild of America West placed production companies Emmett Furla Oasis Films and Pumped — as well as producers Randall Emmett and George Furla — on the WGA Strike/Unfair List, saying they failed to pay back fees due to writers on the series “Pump.”
The WGA’s officers said in a letter to its members that the companies failed to comply with an arbitration award of $477,581.34 for unpaid compensation, pension, health contributions and interest due to four writers on the show. “Pump” is a show loosely based on Arnold Schwarzenegger’s bodybuilding career that dates back to 2013 and had last landed at CBS in 2016.
The WGA said the arbitrator ordered EFO and Pumped to pay back the amount on September 10, and all four parties were placed on the list beginning on October 26.
Martin Barab, a lawyer for EFO, told TheWrap that the writers involved worked with Schwarzenegger before he left the project and before EFO came aboard. He said that while the WGA have an arbitration award, it does not have a judgment and that the case is not final.
“This case is not over,” Barab said. “WGA has acted precipitously without a real judgement, which we consider a bad arbitration.”
“On the contrary, the award is final and binding per the collective bargaining agreement the companies are party to with the WGA,” WGAW senior counsel Leila Azari told TheWrap in response.
The WGA’s Strike/Unfair list prohibits members from working for or selling literary material to any companies or individuals on the list or who are not signed to the current MBA. The WGA says that both EFO and Pumped signed the MBA back in 2017.
The guild noted other feature projects that Emmett and Furla are currently producing — including “Exigent,” “The Pursuit,” “Axis Sally,” “Midnight in the Switchgrass” and “Pieces” — and said that if members are currently working on any of the projects or have been approached by any of the parties about a writing assignment to contact the guild’s legal services department.