The Screen Cartoonists Guild & Looney Tune Lockout

The Screen Cartoonists Guild

A year after the Fleischer victory, the Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers Union chartered the Screen Cartoon (later Screen Cartoonists) Guild, Local 852. The Guild allied with the Conference of Studio Unions (CSU), a group that vied with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) for control of film workers in Hollywood.

Herbert Sorrell

Herbert Sorrell

Under the leadership of Herbert Sorrell, the Guild organized and signed contracts with MGM, Walter Lantz and Screen Gems in 1941.

The “Looney Tune Lockout”

In 1941, Leon Schlesinger, who had been producing cartoons for Warner Bros. since the mid-thirties, tried to lock out the Guild animators. This was the “Looney Tune Lockout”, or “our own little Six-Day War” as union activist Chuck Jones called it. Schlesinger gave in after six days and signed with the Guild.

Looney Toon Lockout in 1941

Above: 1941, Lockedout but happy—Left: Manny Perez tries the door. Right: Ben Washam (later president of Local 839), Roy Laupenberger, unknown, Paul Marin, Martha Goldman (Sigall).