Strike negotiations ended abruptly on Friday, with the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers and the Writers Guild of America each blaming the other for the breakdown.
In a press release entitled “AMPTP Breaks Off Negotiations,” WGA negotiating committee chair John F. Bowman said the AMPTP was unwilling to budge from its offer of a flat residual of $250 for a year’s worth of Internet streaming.
“This offer was accompanied by an ultimatum: The AMPTP demands we give up several of our proposals, including Fair Market Value (our protection against vertical integration and self-dealing), animation, reality, and, most crucially, any proposal that uses distributor’s gross as a basis for residuals,” Mr. Bowman said.
“This would require us to concede most of our Internet proposal as a precondition for continued bargaining,” he added.
In contrast, the AMPTP said, “We’re disappointed to report that talks between the AMPTP and WGA have broken down yet again. Quite frankly, we’re puzzled and disheartened by an ongoing WGA negotiating strategy that seems designed to delay or derail talks rather than facilitate an end to this strike.”
The AMPTP refuted the WGA’s demands, saying the writers’ proposal for Internet revenue would equal more than producers’ revenues, and would doom the Internet business before it even started.
The end of the talks puts a cloud of uncertainty over when the two sides will return to the table.
Production crews marched on Hollywood on Sunday, urging the two sides to get back to negotiating, as darkened shows have put many below-the-line workers out of a job.
“The Writers Guild is deeply concerned about the consequences for below-the-line workers impacted by the AMPTP’s decision to prolong the strike,” said WGA West president Patric M. Verrone.
“Despite the companies’ unwarranted action on Friday to break off talks and walk away from the table, we remain ready and willing to return to negotiations,” Mr. Verrone said. “It’s time for the networks and studios to join us in crafting a fair deal that will put this town back to work.”