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Honestly, I know it's not exactly Ebert's fault he's been out, but the fact that he has been for so long, and no one knows when or even IF he'll EVER be able to return, means I'm thoroughly unsurprised that Disney's playing hardball, and in fact not even really opposed to it.

It hasn't been "Ebert and Roeper" for a while now, so I don't see why Disney should continue to pay for the series as if it were.
 

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TV-MA LSV
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That's a shame. I love the show and wish Roger the best. I think Richard is great, too and still watch each week. I get both sides here. While I feel for Mr. Ebert, just how much SHOULD he be paid when he hasn't been to work for a year?

Man, that reads waaaaay colder than I meant it. Let me try to fix it...

In my current job, I don't employ anyone. Even when I did have hire/fire power, there was an HR department that did the dirty work. So just what's an employer to do when a worker is on such an extended leave? It seems like a no-win for both parties.
 

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ID-10-T
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Robert Wolanski is someone who does a lot of writing in Dallas. I heard recently that he is contracted to do 4 more fill-ins on the show coming up. I don't think they are continuous, just part of a rotation.

The whole thumbs thing is crazy. That is too bad they could not work that out to an amicable resolution. Sounds to me like Ebert might be done and just wants a bit of going away money.

I had been under the impression that they were hoping he would be back soon. That article does not necessarily support that notion.
 

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I am Groot!
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EchoBravo said:
So just what's an employer to do when a worker is on such an extended leave?
Well, he's hardly "a worker." He's a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who co-created both the show and its entire genre, many years before Disney got involved. Without him, the show is just...well, another Siskel & Ebert clone.
 

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I'm well aware of his achievements and contributions. In the context of a contract negotiation, he's still an employee and the Disney folks are the employers. :rolleyes:
 

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EchoBravo said:
I'm well aware of his achievements and contributions. In the context of a contract negotiation, he's still an employee and the Disney folks are the employers. :rolleyes:
Yes, but the contracts at this level have features not available to lower level employees. I would not be surprise if leave and sickness were not a paragraph in the contract.

Al
 

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acvthree said:
Yes, but the contracts at this level have features not available to lower level employees. I would not be surprised if leave and sickness were not a paragraph in the contract.

Al
I would also not be surprised if Ebert had some ownership in the property...
 

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Right, but at one point Siskel & Ebert owned the show outright. When they originally signed with Disney, I don't know how much of the ownership they gave up.

The contract may be between business partners and not employer & employee.
 

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I understand Disney's decision to play hardball with Ebert, but I also think they're currently under-utilizing him. Although I understand that Ebert can't really appear on camera now (he's still unable to talk), at this point he's definitely able to contribute to the show, and I'm surprised he's not being used at all.

Why not have him review the movies each week, and Roeper or the guest reviewer reads a condensed Ebert review as a jumping-off point for their discussion? Or if he can't handle the whole load of movies, have him review the "big" movie of the week, lead off with that movie. That would give him time to type a response to be read at the end of the show, too.
 

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If it weren't for TiVo, I'd never see Ebert & Roeper. Living both in Massachusetts and Maryland, it has been a struggle to record the show. I have to record ALL airings on all channels just to see it. It is constantly either preempted, or some unrelated show is in its spot for no reason. Even with all of my precautions, I am still unable to see it some weeks. I never did get a recording of this week's show.
 

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marksman said:
I had been under the impression that they were hoping he would be back soon.
He probably won't ever be back. He's had the lower part of his jaw removed. Ebert was never a looker to begin with, but barring some serious reconstructive surgery, he's just "too ugly for t.v." now. Which is a shame, because the guy's one of the few genuinely insightful movie critics out there.

FourFourSeven said:
Why not have him review the movies each week, and Roeper or the guest reviewer reads a condensed Ebert review as a jumping-off point for their discussion? Or if he can't handle the whole load of movies, have him review the "big" movie of the week, lead off with that movie. That would give him time to type a response to be read at the end of the show, too.
1. Remember that the show isn't "live," so there's no urgency for him to hurry to finish a response "at the end of the show."

2. From a practical standpoint, this wouldn't work because nobody wants to sit and listen to Richard Roper read Roger's review off a piece of paper. Nor does it make much sense to condense a review down to little sound-bite chunks that can go onscreen for the viewer to read, particularly when Roger is doing full-blown reviews of most movies on the Sun Times' website. And the give-and-take portions of reviews are already jumbled enough without somebody stopping in the middle to say "Oh, and Roger thinks ______."

3. Having Roger review only the "big" movie each week isn't really playing to his strength. I think we all know what he would think of "Rush Hour 3." It's his insight into more art-y films like "Once" that are valuable.
 

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It looks like Disney tried to throw him under the bus and blame him for not allowing any thumbs now, when he was perfectly willing to allow it during the negotiations.

Sounds like Disney.

-smak-
 

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Debates Ghee vs Gi
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The problem is not that he's ugly, it's that he is physically unable to speak, and there doesn't seem to be any indication that it's going to be changing any time soon.
 

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Excellent.
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Rob Helmerichs said:
Without him, the show is just...well, another Siskel & Ebert clone.
And it really isn't even that. The show lost something intangible but vital when Siskel died -- not only the critical chops, which Roeper simply doesn't have (although he is getting better), but the palpable mutual respect and competitiveness and even a bit of dislike that Siskel and Ebert shared. All of that came through in their exchanges about the movies each week and elevated the whole works. Without that, or at least without one of them, it's just two talking heads. I think that at least keeping Ebert's name and presence attached to the show gives it a chance of staying relevant.
 

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FourFourSeven said:
Or if he can't handle the whole load of movies, have him review the "big" movie of the week, lead off with that movie.
Ebert is back reviewing movies in print full-time. He reviewed something like six movies last week. (He's also writing catch-up reviews on movies he missed last year.)
 

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cmontyburns said:
And it really isn't even that. The show lost something intangible but vital when Siskel died -- not only the critical chops, which Roeper simply doesn't have (although he is getting better), but the palpable mutual respect and competitiveness and even a bit of dislike that Siskel and Ebert shared. All of that came through in their exchanges about the movies each week and elevated the whole works. Without that, or at least without one of them, it's just two talking heads. I think that at least keeping Ebert's name and presence attached to the show gives it a chance of staying relevant.
:up: I agree completely. Everyone else seems to have been in awe of Ebert rather than a full colleague of him. Roper always disagreed with Ebert with this kind of almost cringing, I don't agree...don't hurt me...attitude. Siskel had none of that, and because of that, their chemistry was great. I doubt that we will ever see THAT show again. Too bad.
 

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Another aspect of the Siskel-Ebert relationship that I miss is the way they kind of canceled each other's weaknesses out. I couldn't always tell from an Ebert review how I would feel about a movie, and I couldn't always tell from a Siskel review, but between the two of them I could always make a pretty good guess. But with Roeper and Ebert, it was a lot harder to tell, and with Roeper and whoever, pretty much impossible.
 
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