It looks like there’s trouble brewing for the upcoming Lucille Ball biopic, Being the Ricardos. The film had to stop shooting on location at the Chateau Marmont Hotel due to a boycott.
The hotel is under fire for laying off nearly 250 of the hotel employees at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the hotel failed to pay the former employees any insurance or severance pay.
Unite Here Local 11, the LA hospitality union, has since staged picket lines and called for protests. Celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Martin Sheen, Tom Morello, Amanda Seyfried, and Sarah Silverman have all voiced their support for the workers.
However, the owner of the Chateau Marmont, Andre Balazs is defending his position. He previously stated that the hotel “gave more than $250,000” to its former employees. Now, the entire cast and crew of Being The Ricardos is voicing their support, despite the delay in production.
“We informed the producer and director Aaron Sorkin that there was a boycott of the property and within hours they agreed to end the shoot and take it somewhere else to respect the workers’ boycott,” Unite Here Local 11 copresident, Kurt Petersen said.
Cast & Crew of ‘Being the Ricardos’ Ends Shooting At Iconic LA Landmark
He added, “Aaron Sorkin deserves an enormous amount of credit for walking the walk.”
The boycott also has the support of the entire cast and crew of Being The Ricardos. Producer Todd Black clarified their reasoning behind leaving the location in a statment. “Writer-director Aaron Sorkin, the cast and crew of ‘Being the Ricardos’ stand in solidarity with the Chateau Marmont’s workforce. Black also added that, the crew would support and build a safe environment, in hopes to bring diginity back to the community.
In addition, former employees and others are planning to protest this weekend. Their goal is to deter people from coming to the hotel to party after the Oscars.
However, Balazs is accusing the union of “trampling creativity,” and bullying. “The last time I saw Aaron we were sitting in the courtyard of the Chateau Marmont discussing him making a documentary about the hotel,” Balazs said.
Currently, there is no set release date for Being The Ricardos.