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Powerful Turn-Out For PBS Picket

"The turn-out was terrific. It's better than we ever imagined. It shows the depth of emotion in Hollywood toward this issue," said Tom Sito, president of the Screen Cartoonists' Union Local 893. With bright, artistic signs in hand, a crowd of nearly 250 people consisting of both working and non-working animation professionals showed up to picket in front of Los Angeles PBS affiliate KCET. The picket even drew members from SAG and the American Film union. The event was a show of support against the recent move by PBS that sent their network's animation work to Canada. The union contests that Los Angeles studios were not even invited to place bids for the work. "It's not just American jobs for Amercian people," Sito said. Many animators in Hollywood are not from the United States, the real issue isn't anti-Canada but "an equal playing field," Sito stated. The picket took place from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and roused many honks of support from passing cars. This issue came to a head last year when PBS announced it was sending their entire animation line-up to Toronto-based Nelvana Limited.

Read an in depth interview with Tim Sito, president of the cartoonists' union, and a profile of the KCET picket in the May issue of Animation World Magazine.

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Rick DeMott
Animation World Network
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