Of Mice and NDAs

Of Mice and NDAs

There are two stories in the current news cycle about men being fired for violating their Non-Disclosure Agreements.

If you violate an NDA the penalties will be substantial. Showbiz is especially concerned with this because of its need to control image and spin for various multi-million dollar projects. None of these companies don’t want unapproved public statements getting out in the wild because actors are idiotic attention sluts and god only knows what they will say if you let them off the leash.

If you are an actor an NDA violation is pretty bad. It’s not just losing residuals. It’s not just getting sued. But if you break one, who is going to hire you again? A few really big names can get away with it once or twice, but most people aren’t on the A+ list.

That said, studios don’t like having to enforce them. It’s bad publicity waiting to happen because the public will always side with the guy who broke his NDA because he spoke “truth to power.”

However, a very broad interpretation of one is a very good way to ditch someone you want to get rid of.

Pablo Hidalgo has probably been fired from LucasFilm. The reason I say, “probably,” is because there has been no announcement of his termination. The only rock-solid evidence for this is his removal of LucasFilm from his bio. Hidalgo is a Gamma’s Gamma, his only source of status and entire self-worth came from his association with Star Wars. He wouldn’t remove that unless Mickey the Great and Terrible had forced him to do so as a condition of his leaving the company.

The rumor mill immediately spun up and provided a motive for his liquidation. A few weeks ago, Pablo mentioned that JJ Abrams had (of course) wanted to blow up Coruscant because of his moronic love of loud and flashy scenes of planetary demolition. Apparently, Kiri Hart had her own hideous plans for the Star Wars capital because for once a non-stupid decision came out the LucasFilm Story Group, and JJ Abrams was told he would have to blow something else up.

That was it. That was what got leaked and seven years later it’s pretty innocuous compared with other things from that period.

But this time it set off a series of angry meetings with Hidalgo for a couple of weeks and ended with Pablo losing his dream job but getting some kind of severance package for keeping his yap shut in the future.

The thing is, he has spilled the beans on bigger stuff than this repeatedly and never gotten in trouble for it.

The only reason you would fire him for that is if you already wanted to fire him in the first place.

My best guess is that Jon Favreau wanted someone’s head as weregeld for Gina Carrano’s firing and Hidalgo was thrown to the Mandalorian wolves.

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If there is someone who. qualifies as a “Mister Tolkien Himself” it would be Professor Tom Shippy. He isn’t just a Tolkein scholar he is thee Tolkien scholar. Even Christopher Tolkien himself would frequently defer to Tom Shippy’s opinions on his own father’s works.

Shippy was the advisor on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings: The POS but was fired for violating his NDA.

He had spoken to a fansite and mentioned what Amazon Studios had the rights to, which is the appendices at the back of Return of the King.

Given how much auctoritas and dignitas just having Tom Shippey connected to a Lord of the Rings project brings, you would at most have given him a phone call and said, “Tom, we would very much appreciate it if you didn’t mention things like that. Trade secrets, old boy.” He would murmur an apology and that would be an end to it.

The only reason you would fire him for that, is if you already wanted to fire him in the first place.

Shippey was replaced with a Mexican woman whose dissertation was on the hidden intersectionalism of J.R.R. Tolkien. She now claims to be receiving racist DMs but can’t remember to screencap them for some reason. She is a drama queen SJW of unearthly proportions.

Amazon is happy with her work.

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