The government has released the Hobbit documents. The Ombudsman ordered them to. The full release is available at stuff and what stands out (apart from the insistent and narcissistic tone of every film industry correspondent) is the fact that Peter Jackson himself noted the “do not sign” advice from the union was being called off. TWO DAYS before he went public with his “evil union destroying the Hobbit” story.
As you can see Jackson himself acknowledged that the dispute was effectively over. So why blow it up two days later?
Well, from what I can tell from these emails and ones released earlier, Jackson simply didn’t want to negotiate with a union and wanted the law changed to make sure he didn’t have to. And what Peter wants, it seems Peter gets.
To be fair to the government it seems that they resisted changing the law until Jackson blew it up into a fake crisis and John Key stepped in (no wonder, as I commented at the time, Gerry Brownlee sounded sick on the radio the morning Jackson pulled the pin).
Of course there’s also the matter of tens of millions of dollars of subsidies – no doubt the “crisis” offered Warners exactly the leverage they needed to extract that final pound of flesh from the taxpayer.
What really pisses me off about this is that Jackson made the lives of hundreds of his workers hell, and got many of them to turn on their unionised colleagues, by making them think their jobs would be gone when all the time he knew there was no danger of the film leaving NZ at all. What a nasty little creep.