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THE INTERCEPTOR – update

By KevinFrancis
THE INTERCEPTOR – update

David Marsden has asked me to post the following letter from Ian Bayes regarding the above production. I am not sure how 35 agents could possibly have agreed to this when the letters were only emailed this afternoon so I remain highly suspicious.
(We have told Production that we are not in agreement with the proposal).
From: Ian Bayes
Subject: The Interceptor
Dear David
Further to our two recent telephone conversations and your request that I summarise events in an email to you, which you can then distribute to your members here we go.
Following David Gyasi injuring his cruciate ligament which will take at least 6 months to heal the BBC’s insurers had proposed to the production team that the 41 artist’s contracts be terminated with immediate effect as per clause 23 of the artist contracts please see below.
23. If (a) in the opinion of the BBC it is advisable for reasons arising from abnormal circumstances
to institute a general change in the BBC programme arrangements or
(b) any one or more performances under this Agreement are prevented by force majeure or by any
cause whatsoever beyond the reasonable control of the BBC or
(c) there shall be any breach or non-observance by the Artist of any of the terms or conditions
of this Agreement then and in any of such cases the BBC may forthwith or at any time thereafter
determine this Agreement and the Artist shall have no claim upon the BBC for remuneration
(other than a proportion assessed by the BBC for work actually carried out) expenses costs
damages compensation or otherwise. Where this engagement is for more than one appearance or
performance and any appearance(s) or performance(s) is/are prevented or delayed by any cause
whatsoever outside the reasonable control of the BBC then the BBC may alternatively in its
discretion treat this Agreement as being determined under this Clause as regards the particular
appearance(s) or performance(s) which is/are prevented or delayed without in any way affecting
the provisions of this Agreement as regards any other appearances or performances hereunder.
Any determination under this Clause shall be without prejudice to any other rights or remedies
of the BBC.
There’s no obligation to pay the artists any fees other than for work actually carried out. But since the accident happened last week and up until the end of this week the BBC have agreed to pay the artists.
At the start of this week the BBC were considering terminating all of the artist’s contracts as per the instructions from the insurers and postpone the filming for a period of 6 months.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday the situation was quite fluid and the BBC made the decision to re-cast David’s role. There are no force majeure provisions in the BBC/Equity Television Agreement and further to negotiations between the BBC and Equity it was agreed to utilise the force majeure terms in the PACT/Equity Television Production Agreement which refer to a 3 week period of suspension followed a weekly retainer.
This was later amended to 3 weeks of suspension with the filming re-commencing on the 21st April. In addition it was agreed to extent the contracts by 3 weeks, due to having to re-shoot some scenes this period could actually be extended even further. The BBC also agreed that the artists would be free to seek alternative work during the suspension.
There is a direct reference to Equity within the suspension letter as well as a request that the agent accept these revised terms. There is no obligation at all on the agent to accept this period of suspension and they do have the option to dispute the terms of the letter. I would of course be available to give advice and any assistance in terms of pursuing a claim against the BBC.
The second letter makes no mention at all of Equity, this correspondence will be used to terminate 5 artist’s short term contracts with a commitment to re-engage these artists when the revised filming dates are finalised. I have spoken to the agent Shane Collins to explain that he has a duty to try to mitigate his client’s loss by securing other work and if he’s unable to do that he should inform me. I shall then discuss this matter with Shane prior to making any claim for compensation against the BBC for the loss of earnings and represent his client accordingly.
I was expecting the BBC send out the letters prior to them phoning the agents unfortunately this did not happen and the agents were informed via a phone call and they were informed that everything had been agreed by Equity. This is incorrect as per my comments above, Equity only agreed to the content of the letter proposing the suspension.
On Thursday I was intending to brief you but due to a series of conversations I had with some agents who had clients booked on this production, I was unable to speak to you until later in the afternoon.
Today the BBC have confirmed to me that of the 41 artists under contract, 35 agents have agreed to the suspension/termination of their clients contracts, 5 agents are disputing the terms and 1 agent has not yet responded.
Best wishes
Ian
Ian Bayes
BBC Television Organiser
Tel 020 7670 0252
Mob 07912 341 534
Email ibayes@equity.org.uk