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Letter from independent producers to editors

November 12, 2007

Dear Editors,

The public has been led to believe that we independent producers are sitting opposite the writers at the bargaining table (or across the picket lines). It is not true.

We respectfully ask that your publications and reporters cease referring to the ongoing negotiations between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as between “writers and producers.”

The Alliance represents the studios, the networks, and the international conglomerates that own them, not working producers. Creative producers are not directly involved in this dispute: we do not receive any residuals, nor are we stakeholders in the studio profits (excepting where some powerful producers do have back-end holdings in particular studio shows and films, just as do powerful actors, writers, and directors). We do not dispute the need for residuals, including those from DVDs and new media. Residuals are important and significant revenues. It is only fair that the creators of films and television share in the proceeds from all of the ways the product they create may be exploited. We support our wonderful writers, directors, and actors. We are also happy to pay benefits to the fantastic tradespeople on our films.

It is entirely inaccurate to equate us with the entity (or entities) in negotiations opposite the writers. Stories and opinion pieces in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, on television, and on NPR have almost all referenced “the producers” when they should, in all accuracy, refer to the studios, networks, and conglomerates. Independent producers have been inaccurately referred to as represented by AMPTP (by almost all publications, television, and radio outlets). We have been further characterized as “greedy” (a letter in the Los Angeles Times), and even “Scrooge-like” (a reputable columnist in The New York Times. These last characterizations are particularly galling. The work of independent producers is typically a creative endeavor that is widely understood to be an enormous financial gamble.

It serves the studios’ interests to pretend to represent individual producers instead of corporate entities. We would ask that you, as responsible members of the media, stop abetting this charade and call upon your reporters to cease equating independent producers (who are not negotiators or direct stakeholders in this process, and the vast majority of whom side with the writers) with international conglomerates.

Sincerely,

Josh Astrachan

Linda Atkinson

Rene Bastian

Will Battersby

Tracey Becker

Adam Brightman

Effie T. Brown

Susan Cartsonis

Genevieve Castelino

Anne Chaisson

Karin Chien

Caldecott Chubb

Tani Cohen

Ophir Dagan

Ira Deutchman

Lucy Donnelly

Jonathan Dorfman

Sebastian Dungan

Rona Edwards

Barri Evins

Edi Ezroni

Annie Flocco

Alexa Fogel

Howard Gertler

Richard Gladstein

Linda Goldstein Knowlton

Jamie Gordon

Lance Greene

Adrienne Gruben

Dolly Hall

Noah Harlan

Gill Holland

Lynette Howell

Joseph Infantolino

Jenette Kahn

Stephen Kenny

Eva Kolodner

Rosanne Korenberg

Gina Kwon

Kevin Lake

Jack Lechner

Meg LeFauve

Dan Lupovitz

Julie Lynn

Yael Melamede

Scott Macaulay

Anthony Moody

Linda Moran

Barbara Multer-Wellin

Gail Mutrux

Joshua Newman

Jamin O’Brien

Randy Ostrow

Tim Perell

Marshall Persinger

Clark Peterson

Joseph Pierson

Courtney Potts

Linda Reisman

Adam Richman

Anne Rodman

Nadja Rutkowski

Keri Selig

Jay Shapiro

Mary Jane Skalski

Jonathan Stern

Susan A. Stover

Annie Sundberg

Michelle Sy

Mandy Tagger

Kelly Thomas

Tony Tunnell

Yalda T. Uhls

Eric Watson

Diana Williams

Glenn Williamson

Eden Wurmfeld

Janet Yang

Samara Yeshaiek

Joshua Zeman

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