Ceannasaí Alan Esslemont gave a guarantee that TG4 will not seek waivers from new legislation that gives writers the right to seek additional fees if they believe their remuneration has not been fair, appropriate, or proportionate.
In a meeting with WGI, Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI) and Screen Composers Ireland (SCI), he affirmed a commitment to supporting writers, directors and composers working as Gaeilge. This was on foot of complaints from a number of our members about clauses in scriptwriting contracts with producers of TG4 drama that asked the writer to ‘agree irrevocably’ that the fee they were to receive was ‘fair, appropriate and proportionate’. When they pushed back on this clause (which we encourage all members to do), they were told that TG4 insisted on it and would not contract with the producer without it.
TG4 assert that is not the case and you should contact Commissioning & Acquisitions Manager Mary Ellen Ní Chualáin ([email protected]) to discuss the matter with her if you wish. If you would prefer that we do this on your behalf, we would be happy to do so.
The Guild believes that media lawyers representing producers are taking a bullish or maximalist position on the new legislation that does not represent the actuality of the legislation. They are counting on writers not being able to afford access to legal counsel or too daunted to seek advice from the Guild.
Do not allow yourself to be exploited. You will have seen from our last newsletter how poorly writers are paid – if at all. Back-end remuneration is one important tool to raise writers’ incomes and the battle is being fought in the articles and clauses of the contracts you sign.