Your SAG Watchdog has uncovered a disturbing Conflict of Interest involving Howell E. Begle, Jr., Special Council for the MPTF, his law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, and Hasbro.
Mr. Begle, in a letter sent to SAG members whose clips have been selected for use in Hasbro’s Shout game, identifies himself as the Special Council for MPTF. Unfortunately, what he fails to mention is that his law Firm Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP touts Hasbro as one of their clients! (Read below)
In fact these unsuspecting members are led to believe that the Shout game is under the sole purview of the MPTF. The fact that Hasbro will produce the game and by all accounts will take 87 percent of the profits is nary to be found. Hell, the name Hasbro is not mentioned once in the letter. A letter that begins with Mr. Begle stating that he is writing to request members support for a major fundraising initiative on behalf of the Motion Picture & Television Fund. And through out Mr. Begle’s solicitation, there is nothing to belie the perception that the Shout project is limited to the various guilds and generous major studios.
So here, we here have Mr. Begle playing on members charitable tendencies toward what everyone agrees is a wonderful fund while at the same time failing to mention his firms “client” relationship with Hasbro! A company that will potentially make a bundle off a game concept that is being predicted to be worth Hundreds of Millions of dollars if not Billions of dollars !
So whose interests are Mr. Begle and his law firm looking out for? Certainly not the interests of the unsuspecting actors he is soliciting. Do you think that the aforementioned revelations might represent a Conflict Of Interest? Hmmmm, Perhaps Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is listed on the MPTF letterhead as its Chairman should ask himself whose interest are being served here—the MPTF or Hasbro. It shouldn’t be that difficult since he and Hasbro are both represented by CAA, along with another MPTF board member Steven Spielberg!
Hey, Perhaps one of them could query Hasbro about a possible MPTF/Hughes Hubbard & Reed/ Hasbro “Conflict Of Interest” during their business discussions regarding their Dreamworks/Hasbro Transformer Deal!
A.L. Miller SW Editor & Chief
Special thanks to our Ace Legal Begle investigator Terrence Beasor!