An AEA statement says, "The decision acknowledges that Mr. Piven did not breach his individual employment contract nor did he breach the Equity-League collective bargaining contract."
The producers of Speed-the-Plow also released an Aug. 27 statement, which reads, "While we respect the decision, we strongly disagree with it. We remain eternally grateful to everyone who helped make the wonderful production of Speed- The-Plow possible, especially the artists who created it, and the many who had to deal with very difficult and trying circumstances."
"Entourage" star Piven said in his own statement, "I'm pleased with the outcome of the arbitration and to be completely vindicated in this matter based on the facts and the medical evidence."
The arbitration ruling concerns the drawn-out battle between Emmy Award winner Piven and the producers of the recent revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. Piven abruptly departed the acclaimed revival in December 2008, citing high levels of mercury.
The producers of the revival filed a grievance with Actors' Equity Association in January 2009. Because a verdict was not reached during the Feb. 26 Actors' Equity Association grievance hearing, producers of the play decided to seek arbitration. Actors' Equity and the producers of Speed-the-Plow then agreed that the dispute regarding Piven's early exit would be heard by Arbitrator George Nicolau in New York June 8 and 9. In his decision the arbitrator said there was "sufficient evidence to establish that Piven's decision was a reasonable one; that it was reasonably based, and that the contrary evidence is insufficient."
Producers of Speed-the-Plow are Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel, Steve Traxler, JK Productions, Ronald Frankel, Ostar Productions, Peggy Hill, Bat-Barry Productions, Ken Davenport, Scott Delman, Ergo Entertainment, Dede Harris, Alan D. Marks, Patty Ann McKinnon, Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz, Adam Sansiveri, Jamie deRoy and Carl Moellenberg.