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Editorial: Actors, Producers Take Positive Step

Oct 26, 2008  •  Post A Comment

We were heartened to hear last week’s announcement that the Screen Actors Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers have both agreed to meet with federal mediator Juan Carlos Gonzalez in an effort to resolve their longstanding labor dispute.
SAG and the AMPTP have yet to sign a new labor agreement, and negotiations reached an impasse June 30, when the AMPTP submitted what it claimed was its final offer.
Insight into the current thinking of the studios was gleaned recently when News Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chernin answered a question about the SAG negotiations Oct. 16 at the TelevisionWeek Innovation360 conference in New York City.
Saying that the talks were “going badly,” Mr. Chernin complained, “SAG has come in and basically said, ’The deal you made with everyone else is not good enough for us.’ … We’ve made our final offer. We don’t want to send a false message that there is room for negotiation. We’re done.”
Referencing the current financial crisis, he added, “I think it’s genuinely foolhardy to think this is an appropriate time to go out on strike. It would be devastating for the entire creative community for the actors to go out on strike.”
Mr. Chernin’s comments may carry more weight than most, since it is he, along with Walt Disney Co. CEO Robert Iger, who is credited by many with being a driving force on the AMPTP side in getting the Writers Guild of America strike settled.
As we have said previously, it is of the utmost importance that this dispute gets settled without a strike. We are hoping that Mr. Gonzalez can play an important role getting this done. n
Get Out and Vote
Nickelodeon announced last week that it had a record number of votes—more than 2.2 million—in its 2008 Kids Pick the President “Kids’ Vote” online poll. This was the sixth presidential campaign in which Nickelodeon has asked its youthful audience to cast their votes. As they say Down Under, good on Nickelodeon and good on all the kids who voted.
We want to take a moment to urge you to follow the kids’ lead, and if you haven’t cast your ballot by voting early, make sure you vote on Nov. 4.

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