Variety reports that The Writers Guild of America’s board voted 11-3 to rescind their decision to honor ex-WGA president Victoria Riskin with the Valentine Davies Award for her contributions to the industry and the community at large.
The big question is why they voted in favor of it 7-6 before, considering that Riskin resigned in a scandal that revealed she wasn’t an active member and, therefore, was never qualified to be President in the first place (Her successor Charles Holland was forced to resign two months later when the LA Times revealed he’d, um, fictionalized his military service record and his college football achievements).
Despite the vote, there are still members of the WGA leadership… including secretary-treasurer and current presidential candidate Patric Verrone…who don’t get why it was a really, really stupid idea to honor Riskin so soon after she’d embarrassed the Guild with her actions.
Allan Burns [Chairman of the Awards Panel] told Daily Variety he was "stunned" at the board’s vote. He
insisted the awards panel tapped Riskin strictly because of her qualifications
and asserted that there was no concern that naming Riskin would create any
"It’s a slap in the face to the awards committee," Burns added. "I don’t
think the board understands what the award is about."
How clueless can Burns be? He didn’t realize the choice would create controversy? How couldn’t he?? Apparently, even Dan Petrie, our current president and a man I greatly respect, doesnt’ get it either. He told Variety:
"I would hope that these judgments would be tempered by compassion for someone
who has already suffered and, for that matter, for a Guild that has already
She brought the suffering on herself by running for office when she knew she wasn’t qualified to serve. And The Guild brought the suffering on itself by not doing their job confirming her work status before she ran and, now, by naming her for this award so soon after the scandal. I won’t even go into the miss-steps surrounding Holland and their vote of confidence in someone who was so clearly being dishonest. I haven’t been very proud of my Guild membership lately.
But some good has come out of this latest embarrassing episode: It’s going to help me, and a lot of other members, make up our minds about who to vote for in the upcoming election.