Lewis Rothenberg Resigns As President of Cinematographers Guild, Cites “Differences” With Union’s Senior Staff

Lewis Rothenberg has resigned as president of the Cinematographers Guild, IATSE Native 600, citing “variations” with the union’s senior employees and nationwide officers. He was elected to the publish final Could, defeating longtime incumbent Steven Poster.

In a message Friday to the native’s members and employees, Rothenberg mentioned “that my imaginative and prescient for this union, as to who runs it and the way it needs to be run, just isn’t totally aligned with some of our senior employees and Nationwide Officers. Whereas I really imagine everybody within the management of this Native has the members in thoughts, there are main ideological variations between some of us. I ran for this workplace to deliver change, unite us, and enhance activism. Regretfully I don’t really feel that I will accomplish this with the huge variations of philosophy of the management group.”

Rothenberg, who resides in New Jersey however now sublets an condominium in Sherman Oaks, CA, mentioned one other issue is the union’s requirement that the president have his or her principal residency in Los Angeles — a situation he disputes and was not prepared to satisfy as a result of of tax functions.

Contacted by Deadline, Rothenberg declined additional remark.

The native mentioned that Rothenberg will step down on the finish of enterprise at this time. Dejan Georgevich, who at the moment serves because the native vice chairman, will assume the function of Interim Nationwide President till the Native’s Nationwide Govt Board convenes to elect a successor. The election should happen inside 30 days, as dictated by the guild’s Structure and Bylaws.

“Native 600 Nationwide Govt Officers remorse the resignation of President Lewis Rothenberg, and we want to specific our appreciation for his management and repair,” the native mentioned in an announcement. “We want the very best for him and his household. The Govt Management group reaffirms our dedication to working collectively in the very best pursuits of our membership as we undergo this transition of management.”

Nationwide Govt Director Rebecca Rhine acknowledged, “I need to guarantee our members that every one programs are in place to make sure a clean transition. On behalf of myself and our employees, we thank President Rothenberg for his robust assist of our work throughout his tenure. His dedication to members and the Native was long-standing and unwavering.”

Rothenberg, a digital imaging technician on Avengers: Infinity Battle, The Lady on the Prepare and the 2016 Ghostbusters remake, had beforehand been the guild’s nationwide vice chairman for 2 phrases below Poster and had served on the nationwide government board for 13 12 months earlier than stepping away from union politics 4 years in the past. His three-year time period as president of the 8,600-member union started June 22.

Right here is his full assertion to the native’s members:

Expensive Sisters, Brothers and Employees of Native 600:

It’s with a really heavy coronary heart and far unhappiness that I have to notify you all that I can be stepping down as Nationwide President on the finish of enterprise at this time, Friday, February 14, 2020.

I do know that this may come as a shock to quite a bit of you and an incredible disappointment for a lot of.

I really feel the have to be fully open and clear about this, so I need to lay out the chronology of occasions which have led me to this very troublesome resolution.

In February of 2019, I made the choice to run for President totally understanding that if I gained, it might imply establishing a residence in Southern California.

After I took workplace on June 22, 2019, in my opening remarks to the NEB, I used to be completely trustworthy that I used to be going to take benefit of the complete 120 days that the Structure and Bylaws (C&BL) afforded me in order that I may spend time with my household, as my daughter was attributable to give delivery in mid-July. With that, from June 22nd – October 20th, I spent as a lot time both in Los Angeles or on the street for the Union as I did at residence with my household.

Previous to the October NEB, I knowledgeable the Nationwide Officers, senior employees, Western Area Council, after which the complete NEB, that I had sublet an condominium in Sherman Oaks and, efficient October 20, 2019, I might be altering my manufacturing metropolis to Los Angeles. I additionally notified them that I might not be altering my authorized residence attributable to the truth that I found if I did, I might not have the ability to file a California non-resident tax return, placing at a minimal, an extra $8000.00 per 12 months tax burden on me and my household. On high of all the opposite monetary and private sacrifices I used to be willingly, and by my very own alternative, making, this I couldn’t do. At that time, nobody had any difficulty with this.

On the finish of October, I seen that on my on-line membership profile, I used to be nonetheless listed with New York as my manufacturing metropolis. I known as member companies and suggested them that it wanted to be modified. Just a few days later, I acquired notification from our in-house counsel that my manufacturing metropolis couldn’t be modified to Los Angeles with my guild residence listed as New Jersey. At that time, I mentioned that it was okay to vary my guild residence to my Sherman Oaks deal with. I used to be then notified that it was the Native’s apply to request three varieties of proof of residency as a way to change your guild residence.
I want to level out that that is solely a apply, not a coverage or a bylaw. Article One Part 20 of our Bylaws clearly states:

“In circumstances the place a member’s residence is in query the Native could request info to assist decide the place a member lives the bulk of the 12 months. On the discretion of the regional employees, these sources could embody however will not be restricted to: driver’s license (state issued ID for people who don’t drive), car registration, auto insurance coverage coverage, state and/or federal tax returns displaying solely that portion indicating residence, utility payments (matching the identify and deal with of the member), voter registration, documentation of a mortgage or rental settlement indicating a minimal dedication of twelve (12) months, home-owner’s insurance coverage coverage.”

In full disclosure, in June of 2013, the NEB did instruct the employees to comply with this apply, however that was in response to a difficulty we have been having with members establishing residences in Incentive states in order that they might work as a neighborhood there, in addition to maintain their NY or LA manufacturing metropolis standing. It was to stop members from making an attempt to recreation the system.

I do really feel my state of affairs was fully totally different. I’ve willingly given up New York, the town the place I’ve been gainfully employed for 40 years, to maneuver to Los Angeles to honor my dedication and cling to the C&BL. I’ve at my very own expense shipped my automobile and my tools bundle out right here. I’ve turned down over 40 days of work in NY since October 20th, explaining to producers and crew members that I couldn’t work as a neighborhood there any longer. In doing this, I requested our senior employees for an exception to the apply of offering three proofs of residence. I mentioned that I may present two proofs of residency, a sublet settlement and an web service invoice, however I couldn’t present a state issued doc. I used to be suggested that the senior employees was not comfy granting me that exception and requested to ship it to the Nationwide Officers. The Nationwide Officers weren’t in a position to come to a consensus settlement about whether or not the Native ought to settle for the 2 paperwork that I’m able to present as enough. They determined it needs to be referred to our C&BL committee at our January NEB assembly.

On the NEB, I used to be requested to relinquish the chair of the C&BL committee whereas this was mentioned. The committee beneficial adopting a movement codifying that the President’s residence, as referred to in Article Three Part 3, be his/her guild residence. This was precisely the other of what I used to be requesting. It got here to the ground of the NEB and after a really prolonged Govt session, which after making a gap assertion, I willingly excused myself in order that the board may communicate freely, the board voted to undertake that movement.

This of course has put me in a really troublesome state of affairs of making an attempt to resolve if I can stay President of Native 600. As a volunteer, the extra tax burden, on high of all the opposite monetary and private sacrifices this residency requirement has placed on me and my household, just isn’t one thing I can bear.

As well as, this ordeal has introduced a quantity of different points to the forefront for me. I notice that my imaginative and prescient for this Union, as to who runs it and the way it needs to be run, just isn’t totally aligned with some of our senior employees and Nationwide Officers. Whereas I really imagine everybody within the management of this Native has the members in thoughts, there are main ideological variations between some of us.

I ran for this workplace to deliver change, unite us, and enhance activism. Regretfully I don’t really feel that I will accomplish this with the huge variations of philosophy of the management group.

With my resignation at this time, efficient tomorrow, Nationwide Vice President Dejan Georgevich, ASC will instantly grow to be interim President and the NEB has thirty days to elect my successor. I of course will give as a lot assist as is requested of me to assist guarantee a clean transition and I solely want the very best for the management and members of this Native.

I’ve all the time, and can proceed to, assist IATSE Native 600 and the whole Labor motion. I’ll proceed to defend our contracts on set and assist all Union initiatives. I’ll proceed my efforts in encouraging activism.

I need to thank all of you who voted for me and all of you who’ve proven me such assist these previous Eight months. I do know that I’m disappointing some of you, and I do acknowledge my failing in my obligation to you, however on the finish of the day, my obligation to my household and to myself should take priority. If something comes of my resignation, I hope it is going to be taking a protracted, exhausting take a look at the equity of the residency requirement for Nationwide Officers. We have to additionally contemplate whether or not this place, with the necessities essential to finest run this native, can proceed to be a volunteer place.

Lewis Rothenberg

About the author

James Ashley

James Ashley is a 2006 graduate of De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. After working over a decade as an additional writer at USA News, he decided to start his own news publication. He mainly focuses on technology, sports articles and editorials. He likes to listen to music and play chess in his free time.

Email: [email protected]

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