Ellison Suing Paramount

Just in time for the upcoming Star Trek movie, Harlan Ellison is suing Paramount over money he feels he’s owed for his “City on the Edge of Forever” script he did over 40 years ago. His press release is pretty entertaining though I’m not sure if any judge will see the merits in his case. It is, after all, something he could have done decades ago if he really felt that strongly about it.

Ellison’s complaint also deals with the Writer’s Guild which he has served on several times as a board member. But now it seems he has come to a realization that I came to many moons ago in my Harsh Realm lawsuit against Fox. The WGA does not really defend writers. It actually serves as a buffer between writers and the studios and in many respects acts like a lap dog of the producers. They weren’t even interested in our side in the Harsh Realm suit. They just went along with whatever Chris Carter wanted. Of course, he was a member and we were not, but the fix was in. They are not interested in the rights of writers. If they were they wouldn’t have needed to strike last year because they would have negotiated what they needed on other media rights long beforehand.

Unions are a scam.

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  1. At one point in time, Harlan Ellison was relevant. He had a lot of fans. There’s no question he had talent.

    In more recent decades, he hasn’t been as prolific as he was and he’s become known more as an old crank who’ll sue anyone if he feels he’s owed something.

    It’s become all about Harlan and that puts people off.

    This man has been married 6, 7 times(?) and has driven so many friends away with his rigidity.

    I do not deny his talents — read his books and you’ll see he’s a good writer. On the other hand, I have read and heard so much about his behavior that I would not want to get too close to the guy. This is someone who can definitely burn you if you get too close to him.

    I have seen him a few times on TV and believe me, he comes off as an angry little man. He is condescending to people with beliefs different from his and not open at all.

    It’s amazed me that hasn’t had a massive heart attack and died already. You can’t maintain that kind of anger and not suffer health consequences.

    As for Star Trek, yes Gene Roddenberry said some nasty things about other people that worked on the show but the worst thing Gene ever did was try to take credit for everything and not tell the complete truth about the collaborations on Star Trek. The most revealing thing I’ve read about Harlan on Star Trek was from the book, “Inside Star Trek – The Real Story” written by producers Herb F. Solow and Robert Justman.

    Harlan was just impossible to work with on Trek. He produced a great script but it was not filmmable within the budget of Trek. It got pared down and his basic story was intact but even then it STILL went over budget! Ellison just didn’t do his revisions in a timely fashion and that forced other people to do the revisions FOR HIM. He was just so egocentric that he wouldn’t make the changes asked of him in a timely fashion. When all was said and done, he STABBED the Trek producers in the back at a WGA awards ceremony and believe me they never forgot that! He never once said thank you to them for giving him a job and just relentlessly attacked them.

  2. Yeah, I have had my dealings with him. If he needs something from you he treats you like you’re the greatest person who every lived. But when you ask him for any kind of minor favor, like a quote, you’re the stupidest hack who ever lived. I used to see he around Studio City on occasion when I lived in the Valley. He would always go to the local comics store with a pack of sycophantic fans who sucked on his ego like you would not believe. “Yes, Harlan. You’re so funny, Harlan.” etc.

    He always answers the phone with WHAT DO YOU WANT???!!! Not hello or who’s calling? If you don’t show any fear he will change his tune and talk to you like a person. But he always tests people to see if they have any fear he can exploit.

    A very strange fellow. But I like his essays from the 70s and early 80s. They are great reading. Never was that into his fiction. I always found it kind of pretentious. Like a lot of Neil Gaiman’s stuff. No wonder they love each other so much.

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