Schwarzenegger speaks on SAG

Governor willing to help end labor stalemate

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says he would be willing to get involved in helping to break the contract stalemate between the Screen Actors Guild and Hollywood’s major studios, but he made it clear that he has not been contacted by either side.

“If someone asks me to help, I would be more than happy to,” Schwarznegger said Friday morning during a news conference at the Kodak Theater to tubthump a deal to run anti-smoking PSAs on DVDs of pics that depict tobacco use.

But the governor emphasized that he had not been asked by either side, nor was he inclined to make the first call. Schwarzenegger reiterated his feeling that for the sake of California’s economy and for showbiz “it’s very important (for the sides) to come to an agreement as quickly as possible. The last thing we need is another strike,” he said, referring to the WGA’s 100-day walkout that socked the state and local economy.

“A strike would be devastating to our industry and our economy,” the governor said.

Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who was also at the news conference, said he’d also be willing to “roll up my sleeves” on the SAG-AMPTP stalemate “but you have to be asked,” he said, noting that no such outreach had been made to him, though he noted that he has met with all of Hollywood’s major guilds during the past year amid the contract negotiation turbulence.

“The parties have to ask someone to mediate,” Villa raigosa said. “I remain ready and willing to help if the parties want it.”

Schwarzenegger and Villaraigosa”s comments come a day after SAG officially rejected a final offer from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. AMPTP has asked SAG to put that contract to a vote of the union’s 120,000 members. SAG negotiating committee members were meeting Friday to plot their next moves.

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