Canadian Hookers are about to sue film makers for disturbing their business and for loss of income on the streets of Vancouver.
Every time I see or hear of a bizarre and novel form of litigation I am amazed at the creativity of the legal profession.
This one takes the cake:
By Don Townson
VANCOUVER (Variety) - Runaway production is clearly a problem: Now even Canadian hookers, beggars and druggies are upset.
For years, Hollywood guilds have bemoaned the fact production has emigrated to Canada, which offers cheaper costs. But now shooting in downtown Vancouver has created a Canuck conundrum as street workers are demanding compensation for the business they lose thanks to filming.
The Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users, which represents about 1,000 residents of the seedy Downtown Eastside, has sent a letter demanding compensation to 30 production firms. They include Club Six Prods., currently filming MGM's "Agent Cody Banks" starring Frankie Muniz and Angie Harmon.
The letter states: "Sex trade workers must be compensated for displacement they experience at your hands in the same manner you would compensate a business if you were to use their locale during operating hours. The same must hold true for homeless people you push from beneath a bridge or doorway, and drug users you move from a park."
It also wants financial compensation for all disrupted work, including panhandling; alternative accommodation for affected residents; and equal financial compensation for residents of buildings impacted by filming.
The Vancouver Sun is backing the campaign; it said in an editorial Tuesday "we see no reason why any unorthodox entrepreneur should be treated differently from other businesses when it comes to compensation."
The newspaper suggests moviemakers could donate "a reasonable sum" to charities that serve residents of the area.
However, producers claim adequate payment is already made to organizations including the Downtown Eastside Residents' Assn. for location fees, permits and liaison costs.
"Local shop owners are more than fairly compensated for their supposed loss of business, which detailed studies have shown to be more fiction than fact," said Brent Karl Clackson, a Vancouver producer.
"I would ask these people to rethink their position and not become part of the greedy, foolish and short-sighted who continue to chip away at our industry, driving up costs and making us less competitive with Hollywood."
A spokesman for the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users says it has consulted a lawyer and intends to pursue the matter in the courts.
It is also insisting that anyone interviewed or documented on film be treated respectfully and fairly and paid, "according to the rate requested by the individual subject."
Committee spokesman Chris Livingston claims he was filmed last week as part of background by a crew shooting for the Canuck TV series "Da Vinci's Inquest" but was not paid.
Chris Haddock, executive producer of "Inquest," says it is not the show's policy to film anyone without compensation, unless the person is unrecognizable and unidentifiable.” End of Quote-
Next, the pimps will join the group for their loss of income.
I wonder how legal counsel will be paid.