Writers Guild unhappily sits on $20 millionpdf

The Writers Guild of America, West has $20 million in a trust account in Hollywood, which is not the good news it might seem to be.

The money belongs to hundreds of writers, or their estates, whose movies or TV shows were viewed in foreign countries that levy special taxes to compensate authors for the reuse of their work.

The guild’s failure to distribute such a big stockpile of cash has raised hackles in Hollywood, turning what might have been an arcane accounting matter into an embarrassing and potentially costly dispute for the union, which is just about to enter crucial contract negotiations with producers.