AMPTP puts their foot down in strike talks

The AMPTP took a hardline stance at the final meeting Friday afternoon with the WGA before negotiations broke down.

Carol Lombardini, VP of the AMPTP, delivered these remarks to detail why the majors believed they had to insist the guild back off on half a dozen fronts including how writers would be paid for Internet streaming, sympathy strikes, jurisdiction in reality TV and determination of Fair Market Value.

Here are her remarks…

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  1. Go For It! says:

    No, no, Bill. Don’t wait for it to come to that! You guys know how much money is out there on the Internet, that’s what you are fighting for! Leave the dinosaurs behind! Grab all the loot for yourselves and don’t wait for the studios to give you some loose change. If you guys really believe it, go for it! And take all your friends with you!

  2. Bill says:

    Go For it — if it comes to that, we’ll give it a shot. Thanks for the encouragement, buddy!
    AW — You’re welcome! And am I to understand that when a movie is good, it’s a group effort (which I obviously believe it is, I was pointing out that writers create the words and the worlds that other fine artists and craftsmen interpret and bring to life), but when Viva Laughlin comes along, it’s all the writer’s fault? You must be an exec, that’s their party-line!
    And Sherry, the strike just happened, this is new territory, but trust me, taking our skills elsewhere will be explored if AMPTP greed continues.

  3. Sherry says:

    AW,
    Bill Writer knows good and well he can’t take his work to Google, Yahoo, whoever and make anything substantive…None of them have it like that, because if they did, they would just do it and would not give a good damn what the studios offered, because it wouldn’t matter-THEY WOULD HAVE GOOGLE, YAHOO, AOL…see where I’m going?
    Just a bunch of talking and following. Fine if you are walking your own behind over a cliff, but not when you’ve tied a rope around a million others who have no say whether they fall off or not. And on top of leading them over, acting like you just did them a favor…
    The condescending tone and arrogance just astounds me…

  4. AW says:

    Make that “Viva Laughlin” and while I’m at it thanks for “Las Vegas”, too.

  5. AW says:

    Bill Writer –
    You are absolutely right. I beg your forgiveness. Every word that runs magically from the gifted hands of any WGA writer is like manna from God. It doesn’t need to be edited by anyone – it is perfect as it is written. And this perfect product doesn’t need anyone to front the money for it to be produced, nor do any actors need to speak the lines, nor do any set designers need to bring the written words to reality because they spring from the page on their own. I was so mistaken to think you need make-up people or cinematographers or any of the other myriad people you have put out of work. Nor once the film (sorry, the written word) is completed do you need anyone to pay for it to be advertised or distributed. God, I have been such a fool. To think that it occurred to me that somewhere out there in the world amongst the millions of people who write there might be one or two as talented as the 10,000 or so members of the WGA. What a fool I was. Please, please forgive me. On bended knee I can do nothing but say “Thank you, thank you for existing, for giving all of us a reason to exist.”
    And while I’m at it thank you for “My Super Ex-Girlfriend”, “Evan Almighty”, “Viva Luaghlin” and “The Dukes of Hazzard” in whatever form it may take.

  6. Go For It! says:

    Bill Writer, what’s holding you back? Make some deals with google, yahoo, etc. Provide them content. Since the strike is reportedly over fair Internet revenues, go for it! Leave the fat-cats behind and show everyone how much money you can make, how the math really adds up. That’s the essence of our free enterprise system. If you can do that, and bring everyone along with you, then the quality of the entertainment from the networks will plummet. They will come begging you to return, throwing the riches of Pharaoh at your feet. Put your money where your mouth is.

  7. Bill Writer says:

    AW – You don’t understand how the WGA can paralyze the entertainment economy. Well, um… WE CREATE THE PRODUCT. If all these writers you speak of could write material for film and television, most of them would be doing it already. If AMPTP wants to find another source of writers, good luck to them. The quality of entertainment would PLUMMET. All we want is a fair deal. The AMPTP claims fair increases in their proposals, but the math doesn’t add up and they won’t explain anything! We’ve been public with our numbers. ONE year’s salary of any of the moguls who run the industry would cover what we’re asking for. As for your assessment that “Youtube” is where WGA writers would turn, nice try. We would still write tv shows and films, we’d just cut the fat-cat studios out of the equation and make deals with google, yahoo, etc. We provide the content for these people. Again, WE CREATE THE PRODUCT. Your belittling of the WGA component in the entertainment world is as laughable as it is uninformed.

  8. Chris says:

    When you guys are done with a deal i will come back to your show……. at least i will have some stuff to watch intill all my shows go dark

  9. AW says:

    I don’t understand. How does a union with about 12,000 members, half of whom by their own admission are unemployed, paralyze an entire economy? There are tens of thousands of writers who have no connection to the WGA, had no vote and are now being told they will be blacklisted in perpetuity should they act in their own best interests (and trust me, on both sides, this whole thing is about self interest). Wnen does the AMPTP get to say, “Hey, we’re willing to sign with anyone who wants to agree to the last offer we made to the WGA, give us a call.” And, as the writers keep telling us, the Internet is full of writers and other creative sorts who are arguably more talented than many current union members. Studios get out there and invite these people to the party. As for the writers, they are so sure they can make millions posting things online, go for it. See just how willing advertisers and consumers are to pay for the YouTube videos you make in your garage, only the very talented or the very lucky will make even close to what most writers turned their noses up at when the AMPTP offered it.
    Let’s get back to business.

  10. David C. Daniel says:

    The AMPTP’s rabid rejection of the “6 points” is consistent with their financial policy: We will not perform accounting in certain areas of our operation because we don’t want ANYONE to know how much money we process in a given period of time. Period.
    In reality the companies see it more simply. Their algorithm is pretty basic: guilds = residuals = accounting = bad
    I don’t think the AMPTP is at all worried about the mere pittence the WGA is asking for. But the companies can’t make it work with their Vegas-style accounting system.

  11. Why? says:

    Dave, they want reality and animation writers because those two areas are, as we speak, still working. It is all about power. The writers want to be able to shut it all down and force the studios to meet their demands, but the studios still have some leverage this way and they understandably are unwilling to give that up. So, with the WGA guaranteeing to their membership that they will own reality and the studios saying don’t bother talking until that demand is dropped, we have arrived at an impasse.

  12. Carole says:

    Think of the DVD’s; cable and ETC.,”We” CAN NOT afford to continue giving the AMPTP the upper hand. It’s OUR turn to have some REAL negotiations,NOW. Forget all the b—-s—-and get down to REAL work, AMPTP. Cut out the “games”.

  13. Dave says:

    Can someone explain to me the significance of some of these issues in the WGA proposal? I’m definitely siding with the writers (I’m a composer and member of the musician’s union), but why do they need to bring reality and animation writers into the guild with this contract? Also, why can’t they settle for a proportion of the revenues received by the signatory company?
    Dave

  14. ReelBusy says:

    My studio DVD boycott starts now. It ends when this strike does. Join me won’t you?

  15. ReelBusy says:

    My studio DVD boycott starts now. It ends when this strike does. Join me won’t you?

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