Jeremy Piven's fishy excuse gets him off the hook...for now

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Jeremy Piven's fishy excuse gets him off the hook...for now

Wed Mar 04, 2009 @ 05:09PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Piven,jeremy Thanks to sushi, or the sushi excuse — however you want to look at it — we've gotten a little window onto the world of labor guild hearings.

According to the NY Times, Jeremy Piven's December departure from the Broadway play “Speed-the-Plow” resulted in a 5-to-5 split at a hearing last week to determine whether Piven violated his contractual obligation when he bowed out due to mercury poisoning.

Supporting Piven were five votes from the Actors’ Equity, the labor union representing actors and stage managers in theater. 

Against Piven were five votes from the Broadway League, a trade association comprised of mostly producer interests.

Fortunately for Piven, collective-bargaining rules require a unanimous decision for any action to be taken. Why wouldn't any actor want to preserve the right to call in sick?

Reached for comment, Piven seemed to take everything in stride, saying "“I just have a lot of faith" that the episode wouldn't damage his professional reputation.

Of course, the episode might not be quite over. The producers of "Plow" have a right to pursue other arbitration means to try to collect on any lost ticket sales.  

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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