Talk:Belle (2013 film)

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Release Date[edit]

I noticed that the film's USA release date of May 2, 2014, is not listed. This creates a bit of confusion as the film is listed on the page 2014 in film. Due to the page being protected, I can't edit it. I just thought I would point it out to someone who can. G S Palmer (talk) 19:10, 16 February 2014 (UTC)

Hi. Thanks for this. However, as this is not an American film, it doesn't need to be mentioned. Here is the guidance for the infobox and here is the guidance for the release section within the body of the article. Lugnuts Dick Laurent is dead 07:01, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
This film was released in the US more than a month before the UK. The first theatrical release should be listed. - Gothicfilm (talk) 22:27, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Authorship issue[edit]

The Writer on the film BELLE is Misan Sagay. This final credit has been determined by the Writers Guild of America. The WGA has provided a link. It is therefore not subject to any dispute. The infobox does not show the Writers credit. The writing credit on the film is "Written by Misan Sagay." This should please be inserted in the info box in the usual position Misansagay (talk) 20:56, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

I would like to politely disagree with the above comment which claims the writing credit is not subject to dispute. The Daily Mail article clearly indicates that A.Asante wrote a script. The content of which has been used to trigger arbitration. Also there are versions of this Wikipedia page that claim any other script written must have been an "edit and polish" but not enough to garner a credit. Therefore what can be understood is that more than one writer contributed to the the film. How significant that contribution remains debatable. Particularly as this union keeps their methods for calculating contribution percentages secret and do not allow any scrutiny of their credit decisions. Which ultimately results in A.Asante as an uncredited writer of this film.Trainspot77 (talk) 23:22, 7 October 2013 (UTC)

The Writer on the film Belle is Misan Sagay. This is a WGA determined credit and is not subject to any dispute. The WGA have provided a link to verify this. The info box should therefore be updated to show the credit "Written by Misan Sagay." THe writer is always shown in the info box. Misansagay (talk) 21:03, 11 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Maybe, but this talk of "WGA has provided a link" and such is neither here nor there. "Writers Guild of America, West, Inc." is not a proper reference. In addition, someone might think that it's best for editors with a possible conflict of interest to not be involved. Drmies (talk) 05:09, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

Again the web is full of articles, videos and comments where A.Asante mentions her writing at TIFF 2013 which took place months after the credit determination. Therefore the writing is in dispute, regardless of the Writers Guild of America west's credit determination. After taking time to read the guild's convuluted guidance on arbitration, what is clear is that their adjudications are anonymous and the details of their decisions are held in private and secret. But despite the secrecy it is easily revealed that only one writer in this case is a member. There are no public records available that show A.Asante as a member this guild. If she and others aren't members but are subject to this process isn't this blantantly discriminatory? Also the process is disingenious in that: you can halt the process only through court injunction. An international one in this case. An organisation that finds for its members against non members and does not freely allow scrutiny of its process can only lead one to believe that such processes cannot withstand scrutiny. Further investigation reveals that the guild benefit financially when they find for a member against a non member where they wouldn't have otherwise. Where non members win through this process the guild get nothing. Trainspot77 (talk) 12:10, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

You're making a case against the guilds arbitration procedure, we don't need commentary on the issue in the article. Noom (t) 12:21, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Additionally, can those involved in the editing of this issue be careful of conflicts of interest they may have. Noom (t) 12:24, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Sorry I'm unclear about the point you have tried to make. Please help me to be clear. This page is for discussion. I am discussing and commenting. I am neither of the individuals involved in this particular case. Nor involved in any similiar issue or case. I do not know any of the writers and I was under the impression this part of the page could offer views on a public process. If this isn't the case I stand corrected and apologise. Nevertheless please offer me some guidanceTrainspot77 (talk) 13:18, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Sorry, I was under the impression you were requesting changes to the section regarding the points you made above. Article talk pages are primarily for discussing improvements to the corresponding article. The COI note wasn't targeted at anyone in particular, it was a general note. What would you like guidance on? Thanks, Noom (t) 13:31, 9 October 2013 (UTC)
Thank you Noom I am clearer now. I do want to observe Wikipedia's rules and wouldn't dream of touching the main page or asking for such. I really don't know enough about this film or how to go about requesting such changes. Perhaps if I gain further understanding and verified information I might. Until then I just continue to try and discuss what I have come to understand with others. Kind regardsTrainspot77 (talk) 22:23, 9 October 2013 (UTC)

Many people use Wiki as source for film credits. It should therefore be full and accurate. The article initially listed the Writer credit (as it should and as is normal) but wrongly credited the Director as the writer. The WGA corrected that error. In response the correct credit information as to the writing credit has been continually deleted no matter how often the WGA or the Writer seek place the writing credit in it's proper place. This Writing credit is simply a fact just as all the other credits on the film are facts. By omitting the Writing credit it gives the impression there is some dispute about it or that there has been no credit determination and allows people who have no credit to continue to claim it in other articles. Further there is no "conflict of interest". In whose interest is it that one of the three major creative credits (Producer, Writer, Director) on a film is omitted on the film's Wikipedia page and on an article that credits every other 'before the film" credit. And on what basis is there a conflict? Except to put disinformation into the public domain? According to you, the Director or Producer's name on this article should also be deleted on the basis there is no "proper reference" for the credit? The original edit was placed by the Writer's Guild and someone has been undoing it over and over again. this is vandalism. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:03, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

  • Hogwash. The conflict of interest is clear: Misansagay (you) adds content about Misan Sagay. "The WGA corrected that error" sounds like the WGA went in to change the Wikipedia article--how that could be correct is a mystery. What you provided as a "reference" is not a reference, that much is plain to see also. This "according to you" stuff is just nonsense and shows you don't know what you're talking about, since I have re-added the content with a proper reference, and I hope that's the end of it. Drmies (talk) 13:41, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
I do not wish to offend you. The initial correction of the entry was actually by the Credits Department of the WGA if you check the history. I enclose the entry copied from the history.
(cur | prev) 15:16, 5 July 2013‎ Lesrocc (talk | contribs)‎ . . (6,730 bytes) (+40)‎ . . (Corrected screenplay credit to reflect final Writers Guild of America credit of "[1]Screenplay by" Misan Sagay.) (undo)
That entry was undone on several occasions and reentered by the WGA on several occasions. The WGA do regularly check and correct credits on films on all websites and print.
As you have noted I am new to this and only became involved when it was brought to my attention that my name was being deleted.
That said I note you have re-added with a new reference (actually the same article cited as Reference 2 from which all other credits have been taken). For tidiness perhaps the reference 1 and 2 would therefore do for all credits and the reference 3 should be deleted? This is the end of it, however86.166.241.83 (talk) 14:18, 23 July 2013 (UTC). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:11, 23 July 2013 (UTC)
Reference 2 and 3 are by the same jour no but are different articles so both should be left. (talk) 14:22, 23 July 2013 (UTC)

As can be seen the "supporters" of Amma Asnate are using what should be page about the film to continue the fight she lost. The credit is no longer in dispute because there has been a binding arbitration decision. That is the end of the story. It is on all films where the Director now goes forward to promote the film.

The comments about the Guild's arbitration being discriminatory are rubbish. The arbitration is ANONYMOUS. There is no way the arbitors can know who is a memebr and who is not because all identifying marks are removed form the material being assessed. More importantly by FEDERAL STATUTE it against the law for the Guild to discriminate against anyone including specifically non members or against anyone due to their race, nationality. The Guild does not award the credit. Three writers who view all the material blind do. Are you seriously suggesting three volunteer writers who conduct the arbitration risk going to jail for a million years in order to deprive Asnate of a credit. And that this has been going on since 1941 in the most litiginous country on Earth and no-one has noticed or taken the Guild to Court over it? If Asnate believes her civil rights have been violated she should report the matter to the Police. Otherwise give this issue a rest or join other "Birthers" in finding ways to delegitimise a properly taken decision that has gone against them.

There should be a section on "Critical Reception" quoting the hundreds of good reviews this film has garnered and it's reception at Toronto. (see other films). There should be references in it to the praise heaped on all the 300 other people who worked on the movie. Tom Wilkinson's performance, the Rachel Portman's music etc. During this award season it is important that attention is drawn to the work of all the people who made this movie. Instead there is only a whole section is devoted to this non issue in one gossip column. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:20, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

This is quite wrong and the logic doesn't follow. How can the arbitration be anonymous when any project that the submitted scripts apply is known and named to the arbiters? Films arrive with pre press publicity very often these days. As did this one. This very point was mentioned in the now removed authorship section. Also the status of the contributing writers is the very thing that brings about the arbitration. It is imperative the arbiters know the status and the history on the project of each writer in order to award their contribution percentage accordingly. Or not. The names of each writer is therefore easily identifiable. As to membership you can just enter a name into the public database. The arbiters do not standalone in arbitration but are facilitated by non writer staff who do again clearly know the names and status of any contributing writer.
The public are entitled to their interest in the writing on this project, as Asante indicated many times at TIFF 13 that she wrote on this film. The extent of which has caused the DM to write an article. As to the WGAs decisions being accepted as gospel, again the web is littered with articles that claim otherwise. Leatherheads, Beverley Hills Cop 2, Chinatown, Godfather 3, Pretty Woman, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas are some. Even Wiki has a page on the credit decisions where the first president of the union is quoted as saying "when it goes wrong it goes really wrong"
It would be good to remain polite in the discussions here. I understand that some may feel passionate about the authorship section but to remove it because it irritates doesn't deter from the facts. I will be asking the administrators to return it as it states clear facts in legitimate, published article and appears balanced.Trainspot77 (talk) 22:35, 10 October 2013 (UTC)
Don't alter others' posts or insert your post into theirs, as Trainspot77 did here. I have moved the inserted post down below the previous one.
Most credit decisions by the WGA have no controversy. Naming several that did does not invalidate the majority.
As you have seen, my first concern is that the film's credits are properly reflected in the WP article. I'm confident a Reception section will be created once the film is released, if not sooner due to TIFF. We do not take out a section because other sections should be built up. This article should not go into detail about the WGA screenwriting credit system, but it can mention it and what happened in the instance of this film. I might add the original author largely benefits from that, as she has her contribution discussed and gets the full writing credit. And I've often seen that if an issue is not in a WP article, someone will add it sooner or later, and it could be a version that is more problematic. - Gothicfilm (talk) 20:12, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

The WGA do give sole screen credits to people who have not written one word of the dialogue that is heard on screen and this is a case in point. The "birthers" comment is unnecessary and an attempt to legitimize the gift of the page 1 rewrite. The WGA gifts page 1 rewrites to those who were connected to the film first, all the time. And members are signed up to confidentiality of the guild so we rarely hear anything about it They (the WGA) do it. Others grab it, with both hands and normally stay silent,happy and richer. I say take it, have it enjoy it. But don't pretend it isn't the elephant in the room or rather on screen. I really am surprised at the protestations and the attempts to cover up what's happened.It is a practice frequent at the guild. Also organizations that make such decisions sometimes, can have all their decisions called into question. Unsafe decisions do throw a poor light in my opinion. (talk) 16:39, 11 October 2013 (UTC)

The dialogue is only a small part of why credit is awarded. There is also story, dramatic construction, original characters and original scenes. It is possible to paraphrase every word of dialogue on Shakespeare's Hamlet "TO be or not to be that is the issue I am wrestling with" and still not get a credit as the writer as the story plot characters and actual scenes are the same. That is what happened in this case. To be considered a page 1 rewrite a change in dialogue has to change the essence of that dialogue and screenplay not just paraphrase it. The elephant in the room is how a script so clearly written by someone else came to have Miss Asante's name on it and how it was promoted as such even to the cast by the Producer. Far from this being any miscarriage this is exactly what used to happened pre 1935 when the WGA was formed. A writer would work sometime for years writing a script then at the last moment the more powerful elements - the Producer and and Director would simply paraphrase that work, stick their name on it and claim sole credit. It is to prevent this plagiarism that the WGA formed. (and incidentally the affiliated union the WGGB which has the same arbitration rules to which Asante belongs). As for the disputed credits you refer to there are clear reasons why they happened. For example Pretty woman was changed from a dark morality tale to a romantic comedy. However 5 subsequent writers worked on that change and no other one writer changed enough to get a credit even though the script changed in essence. For the avoidance of doubt that is not the case here. One writer provided the overwhelming bulk of the creative content in this screenplay and on the screen. That writer was Misan Sagay. This was not a hung or disputed decision. The result was unanimous. Without the WGA arbitration process a GROSS miscarriage of justice would have happened. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:24, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

There exist two independently created scripts, one from each writer. Both are doing the rounds amongst British film students with little debate other than the scripts resemble each other in little other than the names of the historical characters and a couple of scenes. Here the similarity ends. Ms Asante’s screenplay made it to screen at TIFF 2013. Ms Sagay’s did not and is as dissimilar to Asante’s as is JF Lawton’s “Pretty Woman” un filmed script to Shaw’s Pygmalion. Yet she has the sole credit.
But I fully understand why someone would want to disassociate themselves from the first script and tie themselves to Ms Asante’s skilled rewrite with attempted allusions to paraphrasing. If this weak analogy were the case then Franco Zeffirelli wouldn’t have a screenplay credit for his film of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This being just one of a thousand such examples.
This union’s credit decisions are arbitrary hence their label and the increasingly frequent occurring controversy. No calculations or weighted components are provided in their summary decisions but the above posted appear to have a greater if not personal knowledge.
I can find no such controversy with the Writers Guild of Great Britain but many such controversies exist with WGA decisions.
We are grateful for the lesson on the little consequence of dialogue during arbitration while greater weight is given by the union for originality of scenes characterizations and structure but this is conjecture in this case. If this were true facts then Jason Young would have been awarded a writer’s credit on Belle as he wrote his film Dido Belle in 2006. The WGA because of their partnership with the IMDB will be aware of Mr Young’s work but may have conveniently chosen to ignore it in this case.
As it has been already said not one word of dialogue remains in Asante’s work from Sagay's try. The characterizations and most scenes are different. And as for structure here lies another major difference. Sagay’s script is poorly structured and disordered IMO and meanders tirelessly without solid arch or objective.
Despite my view I am hoping that Ms Sagay is proud of her work will provide me with permission to upload her script to WikiMedia. As both the above poster and the DM article quotes her confidence that it provides the bulk. I am sure that Ms Sagay will be producing scripts of a similar caliber to that which was screened at TIFF 13 and we look forward to it with eager anticipation. There is another Asante script that is making the rounds and it is remarkable how exactly alike this writer's unique voice is to that of the writing in "Belle" — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 6 December 2013 (UTC)

As you say, these opinions are yours and not those of the independent arbiters or, indeed, the lawyers of the Production who paid Miss Sagay the credit fee as the writer for the script two weeks BEFORE any WGA arbitration took place. Or indeed Miss Asantes who did not change enough during her rewrite to merit a credit.

For the avoidance of doubt it is simply untrue that there are two independently produced scripts. Anyone who says the scripts are not the same - one is an edit, minor restructure and dialogue polish of the original creative material of the other - has no knowledge or understanding of screenplay whatsoever.

The WGA arbitration manual states "A writer may receive credit for a contribution to any or all of the above-listed elements. It is because of the need to understand contributions to the screenplay as a whole that professional expertise is required on the part of the arbiters." The opinions of inexperienced "film students" chosen by you convening in some sort of kangaroo court have no relevance whatsoever. Neither does the opinion of a gossip columnist.

My comments are not conjecture. They are set out clearly in the WGA screen credits manual which is available on the internet. I quote:

"In each case, the arbiters read any source material and all literary material provided to them in connection with the development of the final screenplay in order to assess the contribution of each writer to the final shooting script.

The percentage contribution made by writers to screenplay obviously cannot be determined by counting lines or even the number of pages to which a writer has contributed. Arbiters must take into consideration the following elements in determining whether a writer is entitled to screenplay credit:

  • dramatic construction;
  • original and different scenes;
  • characterization or character relationships; and
  • dialogue.

It is up to the arbiters to determine which of the above-listed elements are most important to the overall values of the final screenplay in each particular case. A writer may receive credit for a contribution to any or all of the above-listed elements. It is because of the need to understand contributions to the screenplay as a whole that professional expertise is required on the part of the arbiters. For example, there have been instances in which every line of dialogue has been changed and still the arbiters have found no significant change in the screenplay as a whole. On the other hand, there have been instances where far fewer changes in dialogue have made a significant contribution to the screenplay as a whole. In addition, a change in one portion of the script may be so significant that the entire screenplay is affected by it."

In other words the WGA process is designed precisely to weed out paraphrasing of scenes and dialogue and reward true original content and contribution to a screenplay.

SO Experienced writers given all the drafts verified and submitted by both writers and considering full witness statements by both writers have given their verdict. The bulk of the key dialogue, characters, characterisations, scenes. story, structure indeed the screenplay originate with Miss Sagay so she has been given sole credit. Your attempts to discredit the WGA that has for 70 years arbitrated and whose laws have been adopted by writers unions throughout the world including the WGGB to which Asante belongs are absurd. Pretty Woman was so different it changed genres! Are you seriously saying this applies here? The problem is not that Miss Asnate did such work, or the alleged quality of that work. It is that in filmed interviews she stated in terms that she had written an original screenplay from a postcard. It is that the actors saw scripts that only had Miss Asante's name on it. The WGA arbitration process unmasked for the public that this was incorrect.

The WGA arbitrates hundreds a films a year (thousands if you include TV credits). The WGGB maybe 3 or 4. That is why you don't find controversy. The number of controversial arbitrations by the WGA are tiny relative to how many cases they arbitrate and all deal with cases where there has been multiple writers or where there is adaptation from source material. This is a straightforward unanimous decision where the loser's supporters refuse to accept the verdict based on allegations that are demonstrably false and disprovable. They have showered the press and internet with scurrilous, defamatory comments relying on the fact the WGA cannot comment back.

Shakespeare did not get a screenplay credit becuase he is dead and did not participate in the writing of the screenplay based on his work.

Again your comments about the WGA and Jason Long betrays profound ignorance about screenplay. The synopsis of Jason Long's work shows it has no resemblance whatsoever to the film Belle. "Far from her homeland of Cuba, Dido Belle now has to make a life for herself in 18th century London with no family or friends." NO FAMILY OR FRIENDS!!!??? If you do not see that this is different in story, structure, plot, characters to Belle it explains perhaps the incomprehensible assertions you continue to make. As for you comment about Pygmalion it is so odd that I begin to wonder whether this is a windup.

As for how credits are awarded you feel the WGA are at fault again. Yet it is the PRODUCER, advised by his lawyers and the lawyers of the financiers chooses which writer's work is considered in the arbitration. This is because there is a financial implication for that Producer (backed by contracts) for who gets the credit. If any other writer feels their work belongs in the arbitration they have the right to challenge the Producer through the WGA. A Pre arbitration hearing is then held where the writer can explain why he believes his work was used in the writing of the screenplay and demanding he is considered. This hearing takes place in front of an independent arbiter who considers the material and the contracts and decides whether the Producer had access to that writers work. If so the PRODUCER is forced to submit that writers work into the arbitration. in other words The WGA have nothing to do with it except they have the duty to hold a hearing if there is a dispute about provenance. Are you saying this Jason Young was hired by the production and was a writer on the project Belle and the Producers and their lawyers put him forward for the arbitration but the evil WGA refused to consider him against all their laws and codes of conduct? This would not affect Miss Sagay as she was the first writer but it would affect Miss Asante if some of the rewriting work she is claiming credit for actually as done by Mr Long.

The lawyers for Belle did a chain of title for the script. Are you saying they left him out? Is he suing?

Or is this just another strange conspiracy theory about the others to add to all the others? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:57, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

The scripts submitted by the producers to arbitration show that “Kenwood” the last contracted draft surrendered by Misan Sagay and dated 2010 resembles Amma Asante’s shooting script for Belle in not one word of dialogue ,barely any scenes, characters or structure. This final Sagay script named “Kenwood” exists with its submitted email origins intact and I too can inbox on request should there be any doubt. I mention the email origins because I am now convinced that Sagay’s supporters will deny that she wrote “Kenwood” If its authenticity cannot be established.
Even the arbiters at the WGA established the fact of two independent scripts, by stating that had Asante not been the film’s director they would have decided VERY differently. Again I too can inbox you the evidence of this should the above Sagay supporter or anyone else request.
The above poster implies that Sagay’s “Kenwood” suddenly metamorphosed into Belle the shooting script through an Asante edit. Applying such a description to Asante’s script where not one word of Sagay’s dialogue remains, or barely any scenes is a tired attempt at deflection and shows desperation of the highest. Asante’s Belle is a page 1 rewrite. Fact. The arbiters establish this in their summaries. But because Asante is also the film’s director they refused to award her a writing credit.
Misan Sagay was awarded the” written by credit” through her union, by convincing them that she is the origin of the characters in Belle in the context of a story. Nothing more. This screen credit was awarded by the union in the same manner as they did awarded their Pretty Woman judgement. Where Lawton’s original screenplay was NOT committed to screen but he won the full writer credit. Or as they did with Brantley and Reilly for Leatherheads where it is fact George Clooney’s screenplay that was committed to film but as the star and director of the film the writers’ union felt he shouldn’t have a writing credit too and maintain his triple threat. There is a long history of the WGA punishing talent writer- directors when they come to a project second and revolutionize dying work and get it financed. The transformative talent gauls those that can't.
The producers obviously understand Asante as the writer of the Belle screen play. Because they submitted the theatrical notice of tentative writing credits (NTWC) as “story by Misan Sagay. Screenplay by Amma Asante” and this Notice isn’t going to change because you’d like to muddy the water by suggesting otherwise with more conjecture about early payments, how the WGA apply their rules, the documents submitted and the emperor’s new clothes. The submitted NTWC continues to exist and is circulated in all its authenticity. And yes the “written by” credit is equivalent to the gift the emperor’s new clothes. Particularly when not one word of your dialogue is available on screen but you would like to addresses audiences as though they were.
I guess if I wanted to perpetrate the myth that the actual words and scenes on screen were mine I’d use comments like polish . The dishonourable attempt to disassociate Sagay from her “Kenwood” script and provide the misconception that she is the composer of Asante’s shooting script is so shady it warrants the publication of “Kenwood” on all the movie script sites. So please do publish Sagay’s “Kenwood” efforts for comparison, under Fair use. I will be uploading both scripts and blogging about the pitfalls for writers in March14 on Disqus. Particularly writers like Sagay who according to the Daily Mail is quoted as having three IMDB writing credits and is also thrice veteran of the WGA arbitration process.
The feign mockery of the facts as conspiracy and queries about wind-up should not deter the publication of “Kenwood” in all its awfulness IMO. The more posters suggest that Asante was Sagay’s editor the more justification in forwarding the “Kenwood” email and attachment for comparison.
Jason Young’s contribution to original characters in Belle would fly over the head of the person with an unjust sole credit.
William Shakespeare received a writing credit on Zeffirelli’s Hamlet and the above poster needs to keep up with the logic in the 2 posts prior.Ditto with the Pygmalion similarities. Read before you write.
The most hilarious part of this all is that Asante went on after arbitration to write further filmed scenes in about March/April 2013. This should trigger,under WGA rules, further arbitration but I bet you can just see me rolling my eyes. Puhleeze9 (talk) 15:11, 16 December 2013 (UTC)

The fact that Misan Sagay has the only screen credit for writing on this film is purely through their punitive omission. That is the WGA’s omission of Asante’s contribution to the film in her writing the actual screenplay.

The WGAW discounting the director’s contribution for rewriting almost every word and scene is not the same as silencing the actual facts which document her contribution.

Despite the WGAW’s efforts to deny the director a writing credit on screen, Asante continues to discuss her scriptwriting for the film as seen in an interview in the industry magazine Variety. Directors to Watch Amma Asante Therefore I would like to request that the Wikipedia administrators add mention of Asante’s writing in this interview to the authorship section on the main page, using the article as reference.

Recently more is being revealed about the WGA and its ability to provide free work and the accompanying financial rewards and reputation to their members. Therefore it will be interesting to see what becomes of Sylvester Stallone et al’s complaint in the Los Angeles’ courts against the Writers Guild of America and one of scribes of their film, The Expendables.Hollywood Reporter Expendables WGA The details of their complaint (the actual court filed document) which is also available through the Hollywood Reporter is another insight into exactly how these arbitrations for credit are played out under the union’s rules. The complaint also shows the license provided by the WGA to those members who are alleged to have written dialogue and circumstance for historical characters first.

The WGA was created to fight “monsters” but should see to it that they have not become a monster themselves. (talk) 15:04, 31 December 2013 (UTC)

The above comments about a case where a Writer is accused of defrauding the WGA by witholding information bears no relationship to this case and the implication is outrageous. "The suit alleges Callaham had overstated his role in “The Expendables” script and withheld information from the WGA arbitration." In the case cited there is no criticism of the WGA arbitration process but that a writer defrauded it by misreprensentation. The implication that Misan Sagay cheated to get her credit is disgraceful and cowardly and will not be borne. I invite whoever put this up to remove the comment and apologise for any slur on Miss Sagay's name. Miss Sagay has borne the year long campaign of slander and defamation by Asnate with grace and silence knowing that the truth will come out. However enough is enough. Should you fail to do so Miss Sagay will take action in the courts to establish who you are and sue you for defamation. A formal complaint is also made to Wikipedia that defamatory comments are being made by and on behalf of Amma Asante on this page.

What is going on is unacceptable.

The Authorship issue section should be removed or amended. the WIKI page should report controversy not artificially create one.There is no controversy over the normal credit arbitration process or credit award apart form Miss Asante, the losing party. This one six month old article by a gossip columnist citing a controversy is given undue prominence. Please note this so called story has not been taken up by any responsible media and lives only on this WIKI page and with Miss Asante. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:00, 24 January 2014 (UTC)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:38, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

Critical Response[edit]

Belle premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and received a standing ovation. the reviews have been very positive. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:23, 10 October 2013 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 9 February 2014[edit]

1. The authorship issue section needs changing. It states Asante was hired to re-draft the screenplay. The word redraft does not exist in screenwriting. It should read REVISE or do revisions on Miss Sagays screenplay.

2. The Baz Bamigboye article quoted is very unreliable and is a piece of gossip not journalism. For example it states that "she did not know that Ms Sagay was still contractually entitled to a full writing credit." This is of course inconsistent with the article which discusses an arbitration. If Sagay was "entitled to a credit" there would be no need for an arbitration. this unrelaibility should be pointed out. the reliability of a quoted source is part of assessing the source.

3. The article erroneously gives the impression that the Actors alone are questioning the credit. It fails to mention that Miss Asante explicitly on the stage in Toronto claimed she wrote an original screenplay from a post card sent to her by Dmaian Jones and that the Producer Damian Jones stated he originated the project. BOth comments are untrue given Asante was hired to perform revisions on Miss Sagay's screenplay.

4. It states that the Actors have only worked from Amma's screenplay. The rules for labelling screenplays are very clear. The WGA screencredits manual states

C. COVER PAGES ON LITERARY MATERIAL It is important that the cover pages on all literary material comply with the provisions of the MBA. The provision covering names on literary material is Article 37 of the MBA, which provides in relevant part as follows: Upon commencement of pre-production, Company shall place the name of the initial writer on literary material written hereunder, following which the word “revisions” shall precede the names of all subsequent writers. A sample of the proper form for cover pages is attached.

Had the screenplays sent out been properly and truthfully labelled according to the requirements of the WGA and the all recognised industry precedent THE ACTORS WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN UNDER THE IMPRESSION THEY WERE WORKING ON A SCREENPLAY BY AMMA.

What this points to is something having gone very wrong on the part of the Production company not issues about the credit itself.

Yet the slant of the authorship issue is to imply some groundswell of questioning about the credit.

You cannot report the Actors comments without setting them in context.

Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook (talk) 07:40, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

I'm not opposed to making edits, but do you have more sources that we could use for your edit request, other than the Daily Mail, which we usually consider to be a tabloid and not a good reliable source. Any industry press etc we could use ? Nick (talk) 16:31, 9 February 2014 (UTC)

The authorship issue section should be maintained, but it should not get overly lengthy. This article need not go into detail about the WGA screenwriting credit system, but it can mention it and what happened in the instance of this film. I might add the original author largely benefits from that, as she has her contribution discussed and gets the full writing credit. And I've often seen that if an issue is not in a WP article, someone will add it sooner or later, and it could be a version that is more problematic.

Many of the points being asked for above are unnecessary and/or unsourced. Anyone reading the last unbiased version I restored understands the actors were not made aware of the original author or her work. No one is challenging the accuracy of that version. They just want to add details that hammer home their points, or have the subject be buried. If more reliable sources report on this issue, more details can be added. My first concern had been that the film's credits are properly reflected, which was a problem as IPs from the other side kept changing the writing credit.

I also find it quite unnecessary to have either writer's name inserted into the Historical references section. We don't know who put in what historical point in the final film. Another editor removed the writer's name, an IP edit put it back, then the article was locked. The name should be removed. This section also has numerous other problems, and is unsourced.

The article is missing a number of elements we would normally see, and as it's an upcoming release responsible editors need to be able to work on it. Locking the page was an overreaction. It should have the normal semi-protection. - Gothicfilm (talk) 00:12, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

  • Not done for now: it seems a bit early for this edit request to me. Edit requests need a consensus to implement, but I can't see a clear consensus from this discussion yet as to what wording should be changed. Also, should bear in mind Nick's advice about needing a more reliable source than the Daily Mail. — Mr. Stradivarius ♪ talk ♪ 06:17, 10 February 2014 (UTC)

I would like to request that the authorship section remains as is. Baz Bamigboye's reputation is sound and valid and the article is objective and unchallenged. I can imagine that both parties would like this issue to go away but the truth is the arbitration is fact. This arbitration occurred because the director rewrote the screenplay after Ms Sagay was taken ill according to the DM. Why aren't the public entitled to know this? The credited writer will have plenty of authority to back her sole credit and surely is not as insecure about her credit as most of these talk entries suggest.

I would also like to point out that the Historical References is a section without verification and should be properly evidenced. It appears to be an ode to authorship/ownership and in response to the Authorship issue section. If it is to remain please verify the content and properly indicate that the writers of "their eyes were watching god" are Zora Neale Hurston, Susan-Lori Parkes, Misan Sagay and Bobby Smith Jr. (talk) 16:21, 3 March 2014 (UTC)

I agree after the reports from the awards season keep the authorship issue in. (talk) 13:54, 7 March 2014 (UTC)


The plot summary seemed a bit out of character with the rest of the article so I checked and it seems to have been copied wholesale from (or more likely I don't suppose plagiarism is wanted but don't know how to deal with it, so I'll leave it to you other, hopefully more knowledgeable, entities. Belle. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bellemora (talkcontribs) 12:51, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

Zong Versus Somerset[edit]

It seems that Lord Mansfield was involved in two cases bearing on slavery: Somerset v Stewart and Zong. I'm no expert here, but my understanding is that Somerset ended slavery in England, while Zong meant that the murder of slaves went unpunished. I've not seen the movie so I don't know which one is relevant here, but the existing text seems to conflate the two cases. Bill Harshaw (talk) 21:21, 20 May 2014 (UTC)

The case Somerset v. Stewart you're referring to actually neither ended slavery nor the slave trade in Great Britain; predicated on the prosecutions creative interpretation of habeas corpus, the case merely determined that no black man or woman held in bondage in another part of the world could be forcibly removed from England and sold into slavery. The movie "Belle" deals more with the Zong massacre and its legal proceedings. In both the film and in real life, the former became a symbol of the brutality and horrors of the Middle Passage, the slave trade, and slavery in general. Its widespread publicization by Granville Sharpe was instrumental in galvanizing increased political awareness and abolitionist sentiment within the British polity, just as it incited the same things in Belle in the film.

Info Box , Box Office[edit]

The figure given for takings does not correspond with the reference. The figure in the Info box is higher than that given by the reference. The reference itself seems to change frequently due to updating. SovalValtos (talk) 11:22, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Historical accuracy[edit]

Pity there are no other sources to quote since Walvin evidently isn't very familiar with the subject. I often feel cheated by (Hollywood) movies supposedly (based on) a true story, but not so much here. E g Mansfield did say almost exactly he words in the film that concludes the Zong case but he said it in a different context, and Belle did live in his house and had significant impact on him some say. Alterations in timeline, merging minor parts etc is common practice in films to get a more enjoyable presentation and is fine in my mind since it's not a documentary, to compare it to Morecombe and Wise's sketch for that is an unfair attempt to get a laugh. The biggest historical flaw is that we think we get to know Belle in great detail while in reality not very much is known about her. Deserves 3½/5 for historical accuracy.

  1. ^ Writers Guild of America, West, Inc.