Ellison v. Paramount

j d worthington

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2006
Well, Harlan may be getting up there in years, but one thing that hasn't changed: he still doesn't walk away from a fight:


The full complaint can be seen by following the link here:

Harlan Ellison Webderland: Home Page

This particular script has had a troubled history all along (though, having read the original version Ellison wrote, I must say that it's one heck of a lot meatier than the finished, broadcast version -- which remains my personal favorite from the original series, for that matter). It doesn't look as if that is going to change anytime soon, either.....
I liked this bit:

When Mr. Ellison calmed down, he continued, soberly, “They maintain fortresses staffed and insulated with corporate and legal Black Legions whose ability to speak fluent ******** [BS] is the ramadoola of gyrating, gibbering numbers via which they cling to every dollar. And when you aren’t getting paid for the marvels you helped bring forth -- fine, hard, careful artifacts that are making others pig-rich -- at some point any sane person knows he has three, and only three choices: the first is to sit around dinner parties and ceaselessly whine over your sushi about how they screwed you, boo hoo, but you can’t beef about it Out There in the World or they’ll blacklist you; the second is to pick up an Uzi somewhere, crash your SUV through a Studio gate, and just run amok; and the third, last, choice is this one – to act like an adult, to take ‘em on in Federal Court and to make the greedy, amoral bastards blink blood out of their eyes. What they do is tantamount to common street-thug robbery... just add the pig-rich Madoff-style smoothyguts attorneys.

I'm assuming that soberly is being used here strictly to indicate the absence of alcohol in the speaker.

Oh, and the last paragraph was vivid:
There were flecks of blood on Mr. Ellison’s otherwise charming face.
Heh! Go gettem, Harlan!

I’m no hypocrite. It ain’t about the ‘principle,’ friend, its about the MONEY! Pay Me! Am I doing this for other writers, for Mom (still dead), and apple pie? Hell no! I’m doing it for the 35-year-long disrespect and the money!

Don't pussyfoot around! Tell them what you really think...:D
I liked this bit:

I'm assuming that soberly is being used here strictly to indicate the absence of alcohol in the speaker.

Oh, and the last paragraph was vivid:

I didn't get further then the second sentence and Im totally lost . Could someone explain ? :confused:
I'm assuming that soberly is being used here strictly to indicate the absence of alcohol in the speaker.

Well, given that Ellison has had a lifelong aversion to anything alcoholic....

As for the press release, it sounds very much like it is intentionally over-the-top (a technique Ellison uses quite frequently when dealing with such matters), but his point is nonetheless serious... even if it is delivered in a rather pyrotechnic manner....

Oh, and Pyan... have you ever known Ellison to hold back in such a case? Even a little?

Lobo: Sans the hyperbolic language, he is saying something which has been said many times: The studios tend to screw over the writer because they have enough clout and enough money to keep most writers from being able to afford going after them and getting what they are (supposedly) guaranteed according to contract. Only rarely does someone have either the stamina or the finances (or the public profile) to maintain in such a case. And he is comparing such behavior to simple street thug robbery, save that it is done in high-class garb rather than gangsta garb....
I have two versions of the Ellison script of City On the Edge Of Forever. One's a Roger Elwood edited version and the other is White Wolf/Borealis published version. I've read the Elwood version, and thought it pretty damn good. I've yet to read the Borealis version though, but did read HE's lengthy essay on the script's troubled history. And it doesn't surprise me about Hollyweird. It's typical of them. :rolleyes:

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