Goldwyn - Wright Affray
The New York Times December 19, 1948 page
The breaking of relations last week between Samuel
Goldwyn and Teresa Wright, who had been under contract to the producer
for seven years and still had four and a half years to work out her present
agreement, provided Hollywood with its latest conversation piece. Both
parties rushed into print with statements and in this case, judging solely
by word count, Miss Wright had more to say than Mr. Goldwyn.
Following are the unabridged pronunciamentos:
Mr. Goldwyn: "I
think the time has arrived when the studios must assert their rights more
than they have in the past. No one has a greater appreciation of artists
and no one wants to treat them more fairly than I have in my career. But
I am sick and tired of what is going on in this town -- where people have
no respect for the money they receive and refuse to perform and cooperate.
"Making a picture is no longer sufficient. The picture has to
be sold to the public, and particularly at this time, when it seems that
everything is being done to unsell the public on Hollywood.
"My reason for canceling the contract with Miss. Wright is that
she has been uncooperative and has refused to follow reasonable instructions.
As far as I am concerned, that is that -- and irrespective of what anyone
else does, I am through tolerating that sort of conduct. Instead of showing
gratitude, Miss Wright has done just the opposite. Hollywood had better
get wise to itself. The day is over when stars can get away with this sort
Miss Wright's answer, made public from her home, said:
"A discussion of my difference with Mr. Goldwyn
would be of benefit to no one and of interest to few. However, for the
record, I would like to say that I never refused to perform the services
required of me; I was unable to perform them because of ill health.
"I accept Mr. Goldwyn's
termination of my contract without protest -- in fact, with relief. The
types of contracts standardized in the motion picture industry between
players and producers are archaic in form and absurd in concept. I am determined
never to set my name to another one.
For ‘natural equities'
"We in the acting branch of the profession are to blame for
accepting in our eagerness to work agreements under which we waive the natural
equities prevailing in every other industry. We say in effect, 'We have no privacy which you as producers cannot invade. Treat us like
cattle. Speak to us like children. Make us work eleven hours a day. Loan
us out for ten or twenty times the sums paid to us at your discretion.
Only give us a big pay check at the end of the week.'
"If the time has come for anything new in the motion-picture
business, it has come for actors and actresses to stop being tax collectors,
to say 'pay me less, only treat me with respect.'
"I have worked for Mr. Goldwyn
seven years because I consider him a great producer, and he has paid me
well, but in the future I shall gladly work for less if by doing so I can
retain my hold upon the common decencies without which the most glorified
job becomes intolerable, and with which the most humble can be carried
off with dignity. I think the time has come for professional people to
reject contracts like the one of which Mr. Goldwyn
has so kindly relieved me."
© 1948 The New York Times