George Clooney offers “Mediation Panel” to end WGA strike


Hollywood’s Triple-A list actors have started becoming involved in trying to solve the WGA strike, according to LA Weekly’s Nikki Finke: “I’ve just been told that George Clooney today is volunteering to personally set up a so-called ‘mediation panel’ including himself and with plans to ask Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks and John Wells (the executive producer of ER and ex-WGA president) to be part of it, plus three or four bigwigs who are siding with the producers. The offer came in a phone call today with Harvey Weinstein who promptly volunteered to be part of the panel.”

Clooney suggested its purpose should be to oversee the talks and tell the WGA as each term is bargained "you have to live with this and get over it," and tell the AMPTP "you have to live with that and get over it", Weinstein quoted George as saying. It’s also Clooney’s idea that everybody would be locked in the room together and not leave until the deal is done.”

This follows a London interview Tom Hanks linking the fate of the upcoming Academy Awards to the studios’ continued refusal to "get down to honest bargaining".  Both Clooney and Hanks are making it clear publicly that they’re concerned about the writers strike’s collateral damage. Hanks said corporate bosses should remember that many ancillary businesspeople were suffering from the studios and networks refusing to restart negotiations with the Writers Guild. "There are caterers and carpenters … and electricians and gaffers," Hanks told Reuters. "There are a lot of people out there associated with the industry, for whom the sooner this work stoppage is over the better." And Clooney said much the same thing when he appeared onstage at Monday night’s Critics Choice Awards: "When the strike happens, it’s not just writers [affected]… Our hope is that all the players will lock themselves in a room and not come out until they finish. We want this to be done. That’s the most important thing."