Studios send an open letter to SAG
Majors want pact to mirror WGA, DGA deals
By DAVE MCNARY
Moving to pressure SAG to make a deal, the majors have issued an open letter to SAG about next week’s talks by stressing that they are aiming for an agreement along the same lines as the WGA and DGA deals.
The letter, issued Monday by the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, is a clear signal to SAG leaders that the congloms will not break the pattern set in the deals for writers and directors – even though SAG leaders have been insisting that they plan to seek a sweeter deal. The assertive tone of SAG’s approach and its strong alliance with the WGA during the 100-day writers strike has unnerved Hollywood, sparking worries that a second work stoppage may be in the offing after SAG’s contract expires June 30.
The letter also addressed AFTRA, which split with SAG and will start talks on April 28. The AFTRA negotiations are expected to be far less contentious than SAG’s.
“We hope that our negotiations with SAG and AFTRA will bolster this new economic framework, enabling all of us to share equitably in the success of new media and to respond with creativity and swiftness to market changes,” the AMPTP said. “If our industry relies on this new framework, we can all avoid more harmful and unnecessary strikes.”
The AMPTP issued the letter Monday as it launched three days of contract talks with the Intl. Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. SAG, which starts talks on April 15, had no immediate response.
The majors took a mostly non-confrontational tone in the letter. “We are committed to creating a genuine economic partnership with the talented men and women who help us create entertainment,” the AMPTP said. “That means that we should all share fairly in the revenues we generate – including new revenue from the emerging areas of new media.”
The AMPTP also said such a deal has to give the companies the flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing markets and technologies – a mantra it recited repeatedly during the lengthy WGA negotiations, before hammering out a deal that mirrored the DGA’s agreement in giving the guild a foothold in revenues from ad-supported streaming.
“Too many industries have failed to respond quickly enough to these changes, and we are determined to position our businesses — and the employees and shareholders who rely on them — to succeed and grow in this challenging environment,” it added.
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From: Pamela Greenwalt [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Monday, April 07, 2008 3:07 PM
Subject: SAG Statement
In response to your inquiry:
“Screen Actors Guild is ready to start formal bargaining and looks forward to productive negotiations with the AMPTP beginning April 15th.”
Doug Allen, National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator
Screen Actors Guild