12/19/2007

LA City Council: Where's the AMPTP?

At today’s Los Angeles City Council meeting, over 300 writers and supporters came to hear Councilmember Eric Garcetti speak to the City Council about the writers strike, and the need to bring the AMPTP back to the table so negotiations can resume.
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The AMPTP did not bother to send a representative, apparently feeling that the $20 million a day damage to the Los Angeles economy is more the City Council's problem than theirs.

Garcetti introduced an emergency motion asking for both parties to resume bargaining, and to come to a just and fair deal as quickly as possible. He also pointed out that the writers are still at the bargaining table, ready to negotiate, and called specifically on the AMPTP to return as well.

To see the meeting, go here for the playback; you can forward to 3hrs 36 minuts, or use the “Jump To” menu and go to “Special Motion #1 (Garcetti-Wesson)”.

Councilmember Garcetti mentions that the studios benefit from various programs and tax breaks that the city and state have given them to try and keep entertainment work in California. Aside from help with zoning and land use, expedited permits, the use of government buildings to film in for free, and the expansion of their studio space, the entertainment sector are the lowest payers of business taxes in the city, and receive state tax credits as well.

Garcetti said it clearly: “We’ve put ourselves forward helping this industry out, and now we want it to help Los Angeles and resolve this strike as quickly as possible.”

The conglomerates benefit from government tax breaks and incentives to keep them here in California. These incentives come at taxpayer expense. It seems only fair to ask that they behave as good corporate citizens in return – instead of refusing to bargain as the strike does serious damage to the economy of the city and the state.

Press Conference 1
Press conference with Eric Garcetti and John Bowman outside City Hall.

We at United Hollywood want to thank Councilmember Garcetti for his support and his honesty. We appreciate everything he is doing to help bring this strike to an end, and to protect the interests of working men and women in the entertainment industry.

45 comments:

Dorkman said...

What does this "emergency motion" actually mean? If the motion passes is there a legal obligation for the AMPTP to return to the table? Or does it just mean that the City Council is on record as being pissed off?

Forgive me, I don't really know politics.

Fred said...

These are, remember, the same guys who beat up kids like us in school and fled the moment an authority figure showed up.

That they have been rewarded for being pond slime all their lives by being hired as studio/network executive show how soulless our society has become.

How did we ever end up with cretins like this in charge of so many elements of our society?

coels said...

Look, I think the AMPTP are real jerks for walking away from the table. There is no denying that. But the WGA are even bigger jerks for holding the entire industry hostage until your demands are met. This is all just wrong.

Caitlin said...

The WGA will never be bigger jerks than the AMPTP. However, it's things like this that show we're fighting an enemy that doesn't have an ounce of humanity or reason. Whatever it takes to get a fair deal should be done, short of, say, physical force. As we all keep saying, the other option is just too horrible to face.

Captain Obvious said...

lol Scott... I suppose Les isn't getting any money at all, huh? I suppose all he cares about are kittens and lollipops and little 7 year old girls on Christmas morning...


Ooo and same with Captain Counter! My arch-nemesis! After Rupert Murdoch!


There's sure to be coal in their stocking. Literally or figuratively.

WGA-Strike-Juice said...

Scott,

Sorry that I am fighting for my financial future. That makes me a "cancer" I guess. Does that mean corporations are the host body? Because if so, I am totally into being cancer.

Nobody is going to die because of your strike. If they do, then they are pretty lame.

And coels,

We are not "holding the entire industry hostage." We are holding out for fair wages. Kinda different. Here's a question: If we indeed are capable of "holding the entire industry hostage," then wouldn't that mean we are a pretty integral part of the business? You know, the part where everything STARTS. The other guys might want to come back to the table and act like adults, because we are all heading towards the internet and this town is about to turn to dust.

Slgalt said...

The so called offer that the corporations are making to the WGA is to TAKE AWAY money that they normally get and defund the health and pension funds of all the other unions.

Would you bend over and take an 50%80% pay cut?

Caitlin said...

Jonathan,

No, no, I agree with you. My only problem with physical force is a little thing called the law. Pretty hard to strike from jail, people usually consider blowing heads off to be "rash" or whatever. You know, stuff like that.

MaryAn Batchellor said...
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Farley said...

I totally support the writers strike even if it means reality tv this spring.. ugh.

The demands of the writers seem pretty reasonable especially since the last VHS/DVD residuals deal left them looking like Edward Norton after the shower scene in American history X.

ChuckT said...

The "emergency motion" doesn't mean a damn thing. The producers didn't show up because there's no beneficial reason for them to. The numbers are there, their position is clear and well-documented. And unlike the WGA, they don't have the time or the desire to stand in line and bitch on a microphone for two hours about the other side. No good businessperson would do such a thing.

Again, for the millionth time, the AMPTP is not interest in the LA City Council, or orders or your stupid feelings. They are NOT returning to the table. What the AMPTP is saying very loudly and clearly is: Fuck off. You blew it. Expect Force Majeure. We're moving on to the DGA. Period.

That's not subject to your understanding or acceptance. The fact that you lack both is of no consequence or interest to the producers nor should it be. I find it hysterical, ironic and absolutely stupid that the WGA is now pulling out all the stops and begging the producers to negotiate when YOU WERE THE ONES WHO CALLED THE GODDAMN STRIKE TO BEGIN WITH.

If you had put that much effort into brokering a deal instead of striking, none of this shit would be happening.

The DGA will do what the WGA has not (and could not) do on its own. Watch and learn kids.

Krono said...

@ChuckT

Good public relations says that the AMPTP really should have had token representation there. You know, to make it look like they actually cared some about the local economy and the little guy.

As for the rest of your ragging on the WGA, well, it's hard to make a deal when your partner won't deal. The WGA is looking to bargain to try and wring a fair deal out for themselves. The AMPTP isn't looking to bargain, they're looking to dictate.

The WGA is not the one walking away from the table. The AMPTP is. I find hard to believe that anyone can seriously believe the fault for a lack of a deal falls on the WGA when the AMPTP is the ones that tossed some demands on the table, then broke off negotiations until they could invoke force majeure. If both parties were still at the table and no progress were being made, it might be believable then; but not as things stand now.

Geo Rule said...

Interesting idea there. If there are preferential tax rates from city/county/state involved, then there should be a move to rescind those (on a pro-rated basis) for every day AMPTP stays away from the bargaining table.

Requiring them to make a deal would be too much, but requiring them to bargain is entirely appropriate given the facts.

WGA-Strike-Juice said...

ChuckT

You've been posting your little hysterical rants on boards since this thing started. Thanks for the exercise in tedium.

And just so you are aware, if the DGA deal isn't good enough ,we won't take it. Turns out they are a different union. Surprising, huh?

We'll see if they return to the table when their stock is downgraded and their stockholders start wondering why they are killing off part of the business for no apparent reason.

And, yes, we did call the strike. I assume you think we should have taken their awesome deal. Should we have taken it with or without lube?

It is obvious you are not a writer and I would just like to take a second to thank God.

Jerad said...

"These are, remember, the same guys who beat up kids like us in school and fled the moment an authority figure showed up."

Actually I think it's the one clever kid that paid someone wles to beat you up for your cash. so that others could take the fall. Why beat you up when you can pay a counter to do it?

WGA-Strike-Juice said...

Uh, no Bill

The talks did not break down over reality and animation jurisdiction. Those two things were always on the table, we didn't just toss them down one day.

Hey, why aren't you focusing on the FOUR OTHER PROPOSALS that the AMPTP is demanding we remove? Weird.

Oh, because you just parrot what they send out in their press releases. There is no reason to take you seriously if you do not learn the facts.

Take a look at the final demand they want us to remove. It is THE big sticking point and we won't be rolling over on that one.

I guess next time we negotiate with the AMPTP we will be sure to treat them like junior high school girls who are easily offended instead of business men.

billy said...

chuckt

nothing is worth fighting for? ...

oh, i am going to stop the arguments about how the benefits help all the other unions...i am a working writer..this year i won't make 60 thou--this year-- because of the strike...
..and i was negotiating with Disney for a deal...

other years

i have done better..but it still balances out to about 85...but i think

i am like you ... can't we stop the vitriol..this action hurts us as much ..
i am in the trenches with you...borrrowing against my house..

don't we share the dream of working in this biz?

Brandon said...

To my recollection, the AMPTP was at the table and you guys didn't reach an agreement. I'm not interested in placing blame in that situation anymore. It seems apparent that both sides of this are far more interested in just $#!t-slinging than actually maintaining level heads and figuring out something at this point. The dueling websites are fairly good indications of that.

I count myself among the foolish for falling into this trap and allowing myself to be upset or concerned about this, because this is not a real persons problem and I've been dumb for trying to compare this situation to the situations of real people. I don't want anyone to get screwed over. I don't want the studios to suffer through a bad deal that may cost them more than they may be able to recoup based on the current state of a fluctuating medium (as that will eventually cost viewers in lowered production value and even lower standards in material than we seem to already have). And I don't want writers to get a bad deal, but the problem remains that I don't know what a bad deal is for writers. If a bad deal means they have to keep writing and selling that work to keep earning money, then I fail to grasp the concept and I apologize for that, but again thats me comparing them to normal people. To my knowledge, they're fighting to continue to make enough money off of a single piece or unit of work to not have to work for lengthy periods of time and maintain a "comfortable" lifestyle and amazing health benefits for them and their families. In my opinion, that's a pretty nice deal and, I suppose that once you learn to live that way, it's well worth fighting for, but its nowhere near what the average person gets and therefore its hard for me to understand your strike. But I don't have to understand. If I was really that interested in your battle or in partaking of the life you lead, I'd probably become a writer. And then when my vacations abroad, or my fairly laid-back yet personally luxurious lifestyle and amazing benefits package were put in jeopardy or I saw the opportunity to further capitalize off of my desire to either work less or just enough, I would likely be parroting the glory of this strike alongside my like-minded brethren (and sistren). But I'm not. I'm a person who worked hard to get to a point where I could work independently and now I have to prove myself and my worth to new people everyday. I don't want you to lose your homes, your cars, your benefits, or your luxuries. That's part of the joy of being in the industry you're in. Still, even in my current standing, I would take 75% of the shittiest deal that you guys have ever agreed to, because its still several times better than working 9-5 at a job I hate. And with that, I now understand that my opinion on this matter is not valid. So, I just hope it ends soon, because there are a few shows that I love and miss. Then again, Doctor Who and Torchwood are starting up soon and BBC, ITV, and Channel 4 seem to have a good slate of upcoming programmes, so I guess I'll survive.

WGA-Strike-Juice said...

Brandon,

I tried to get through your paragraphless novel, but I didn't make it.

The vast majority of us are not rich. Get over it.

Shawn said...

unfortunately - the emergency motion means very little, if anything. the city council sees the damage being done to the city as 1/10 of 1%, and sees it as isolated to a few people in the entertainment industry.

this is mind boggling because we're talking about tens of thousands of jobs here, but for the city council, and for most people who are not in the entertainment industry, the biz is not viewed seriously, and don't really care about the inner workings at all. all they care about is the finished movie or show.

the members of the city council also hold no real weight or influence, and that's probably why the AMPTP didn't show up this morning.

What we really need is for the mayor to not just release statements, but to really force the issue, but what can he actually do to get the AMPTP back to the table and negotiate in good faith?

I don't know what the guild can do over the next two weeks while the moguls are away on vacation to apply more pressure, but I hope the WGA leadership has more cards up their sleeves...

John said...

I completely understand how frustrated and insulted the WGA was today by the no show of the AMPTP. You can sit back and complain about the AMPTP's absence from today's City Council meeting, or you can take action, and settle this debacle, which threatens to shut down the entire industry, for many months to come. I implore you...We who love this industry(many thousands), and what it represents, are hurting...just like you. PLEASE take the high road and find the compromising formula which will force the AMPTP to march back to the table and settle this impasse. It's for the good of the game. Believe it!

Caitlin said...

Amen, John. And not just thousands. Millions if you count we viewers, too. Maybe we don't work in the industry, but we love what comes from it. And I believe it. But it's hard to just "find" the solution. Regardless, as I said, I hope WGA does anything and everything in it's power to get a fair deal and the system back to work. The AMPTP has signalled they'll do nothing. I want to see their lies, reputation, and future smeared over the ground because of it.

Brandon said...

My apologies for the length of the post, WGA-Strike-Juice. And I never said anyone was rich, per se. But if you make $40,000/yr on average with great health benefits for your writing or from the income generated from something you've written, thats a good deal better than someone who goes to work everyday, gets 2 weeks of vacation, and 40 hours of sick leave for $25,000/yr before taxes and health insurance. And I'm not saying you're a bad person for capitalizing off your talent. I'm just saying its hard to support your strike and be happy about missing my shows knowing that even with your "shitty" old deal, you're still essentially pretty okay. That's all.

Fear The Reaper said...

Brandon,

It's actually not. After agent, lawyer, manager, 40,000 ends up less than 25,000.

Fear The Reaper said...

Brandon.

Also, you should understand that this is not about how well we do with our "shitty" old deal. This is about the future. Very soon there will be no broadcast tv, everything will be the internet. Your TV will be hooked up to the internet. When that happens, if we do not have a decent deal in place, most of us will not be able to make a living.

casecrum said...
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United Hollywood said...

Brandon,

I'm sorry to hear you hate your job. Maybe that's why you sound angry at us for fighting over a job we all love to do.

As as for this "Still, even in my current standing, I would take 75% of the shittiest deal that you guys have ever agreed to, because its still several times better than working 9-5 at a job I hate."

I'll make that trade with Brandon. I haven't been paid in over a year. I'm still working, because I love being a writer, but no one bought my last feature film script. I'd love to have a weekly salary right now, but this is the profession I chose and I accept that. In light of this maybe you can understand why I want the best salary I can get for my work. At least you know that next week you'll have a job and a paycheck. I haven't been that lucky lately.

Harold said...

Brandon writes:

"I'm a person who worked hard to get to a point where I could work independently and now I have to prove myself and my worth to new people everyday.

I would take 75% of the shittiest deal that you guys have ever agreed to, because its still several times better than working 9-5 at a job I hate."

So, you worked hard to work independently at a 9-5 job that you hate. I guess your boss sucks, eh?

This is the problem when you cut and paste shit from the AMPTP template and don't even bother to check if it makes any fucking sense.

You're not supposed to combine text from the model paragraphs. You are supposed to select ONE, you fucking idiot.

Brandon writes:

"I don't want the studios to suffer through a bad deal that may cost them more than they may be able to recoup based on the current state of a fluctuating medium (as that will eventually cost viewers in lowered production value and even lower standards in material than we seem to already have).

And I don't want writers to get a bad deal, but the problem remains that I don't know what a bad deal is for writers."

Your writing overall looks like the retarded efforts of an inbred hamster, but you write a substantially better paragraph than most of it when boo-hoo-ing the challenges of AMPTP making a buck. Either improve the other paragraphs that weren't written for you or retard the ones that are down to your level.

Brandon writes:

"...2 weeks of vacation, and 40 hours of sick leave for $25,000/yr before taxes and health insurance..."

Don't forget the paid holidays that you give yourself in your independent 9-5 job that you worked hard to create so that you could hate it.

Brandon writes:

"So, I just hope it ends soon, because there are a few shows that I love and miss."

Reruns or shows on hiatus shouldn't be your biggest problem. You worked hard to get to a point where you could work independently and create a 9-5 job that you hate.

Brandon said...

@fear the reaper:
Thanks for the response. I get it and I don't disparage you trying to get all you can. I think the whole "internet is gonna consume broadcast tv" thing is like the old, "TV is gonna destroy radio" / "movies are gonna destroy stage" thing. It's an popular option for select groups, but broad acceptance and feasibility of that option isn't a given. I respect you insulating yourself for that option, I'm just not a fan of the manner in which the WGA chose to go about it. That's all.

@united hollyood:
Thank you for the forum. I don't actually hate MY job. I'm an independent contractor, I understand lean times. And I've sold myself short many times just to get the opportunity to impress people, because I understand the value of doing so and not resting on the last thing I did. That has alot to do with why I'm vexed with the situation. Maybe I'm jealous that I don't have a union and I have to keep pushing myself to do better and stay on my game or risk doing what my family has suggested for years and getting a "real" job. I don't hate writers, I just don't understand walking away from a job and making innocent people suffer over MORE money. I'm not against you (and therefore with the terrorists), I just think there was a different way to getting to where the WGA hopes to get and wish they had taken that route instead of having to watch this turn into am embittered PR war and getting screwed out of the few decent shows that there are on TV.

Brandon said...

harold, I appreciate your frustration. I was making a comparison and it got a bit confused. You're absolutely right, there are a world of errors in my paraphrasing and I'm not gonna act like i'm above it. I was trying to make the point that if I were a paid writer (which I am very clearly NOT), I would happily take a crap deal as that would be better than working 9-5 at a job I hate...for likely much less. I don't work 9-5 anymore, but I'm not so far separated from it that I don't remember it, nor am I going to presume that I'm better than people who still run that particular gamut and support themselves and a family. We all make choices in the type of work and conditions we subject ourselves to and accept the inherent risks therein, I suppose. Ergo, I would imagine if a writer was no longer selling new material, they would find something more lucrative to do with their time. Again, though, that's just from my very basic understanding of the world.

Skyfleur said...

brandon said : "I don't hate writers, I just don't understand walking away from a job and making innocent people suffer over MORE money.

But that's the problem. You believe they're fighting for more money but they're not. They are fighting for a better deal on DVDs and have a better formula : so yes here they fight for more money. We're talking about 8 cents instead of 4 cents per DVD sold.
But on TV shows reruns / movie reruns / Streaming etc. They're fighting to keep on par. Right now, they should be getting residuals for anything they wrote whatever the medium used but they don't. So they're not fighting to get more money per se, they're fighting to get their dues.
In the near future, tv reruns will be something of the past and if they do not get a proper deal for streaming and paid downloads, they won't get more money, their residuals will decrease, their Pension and health funds will decrease, in other words: they're fighting to keep what they earn now and make sure that they're not destroyed. In other words, if they don't get it, not only writers won't make the kind of money you think they make but they'll make less than a factory person working on a chain like in the Chaplin movie while the big congloms will make billions on their backs without having done anything except take a little risk.

Some writers do very well, because they're writing on a show on a regularly basis, but half of the entire guild isn't working regularly, they survive thanks to the residuals. they don't make the money you think they do. It's not because they are doing a job they love that they shouldn't be paid and get residuals for their work.
Ask the singers and song writers if they'll accept not to get their royalties each time a song is played on the radio. It's exactly the same. Ask the singers / song writers why for example Cold Case can't be released on DVD.
Let's take the example of novel writers : they get 12% of the sales whether it's on internet or on paper. The show/movie writers get 1/8 of the profits on tv reruns, but they 0.3% on DVD residuals. And they get nothing for streaming. If publishers could pay novelists 12% for internet distribution of the books, then there is little argument saying that tv / movie writers could get a little more than 0.3%.
As much as I understand your argument about collateral damage, and believe me I am hurting all over for the BTL, they didn't walk from the job, their contract expired and they had nothing to walk away from. They're on strike because they can since there is no contract in place.
The contract expired because the AMPTP didn't even discuss anything. A negotiation is done in only one way : the two parties make compromises so that each feels good about the deal reached. Right now, the WGA accepted to give up on DVDS and what did the WGA get ? a walk out from the AMPTP. The AMPTP hasn't given them anything, the $250 is not even close to a compromise unfortunately.
While I do get your argument, you should really look at the tactics used by the AMPTP : they walk out twice, they didn't offer any real compromise so that negotiations could go forward. There is no negotiations because the AMPTP has DEMANDED that 6 proposals (one of which isn't even a proposal) to be taken off, with nothing in exchange but the continuation of the talks. That is not a compromise. That's a threat, an ultimatum, but nothing that could resemble an amicable agreement.

So yes, the WGA is on strike, they have a legal right to, but the AMPTP has forced them into a corner. Check what has happened during the last 8 months. You'll see that the AMPTP was adamant to take off any DVD residuals until three weeks before the contract expired. So yes the WGA went on strike, yes there is a lot of collateral damage and they are very aware of it. But the thing is in a argument, there's never one party at fault. one party is always at more fault than the other and while the strike does hurt the BTL, the underlying reason there's a strike is the congloms knew they could hold out without shows and they don't seem to care about BTLs. Have you heard of any help fund established by the AMPTP ? No, that's where SAG and WGA are coming in to help BTLs.
And those innocent people you're talking about : IATSE, Teamsters, Actors, AFTRA etc would all benefit from a deal including residuals for streaming and paid downloads. BTLS get residuals directly into their P & H, it's in their best interest that any of the 3 big unions get a deal including these. So they're so innocent by-standers, they have a stake in this. Of course, they can make their own deal, but if the language isn't in one of the Big contracts, they'll have no leverage to get it. And if residuals decrease for the 3 big unions, they will decrease as well for the BTLs.

There is much more at stake than just the writers. The writers fight for themselves first but you'd have to be blind not to realize anything they get will benefit everyone else.

ChuckT said...

Again, for the millionth time, the AMPTP is not interest in the LA City Council, or orders or your stupid feelings. They are NOT returning to the table. What the AMPTP is saying very loudly and clearly is: Fuck off. You blew it. Expect Force Majeure. We're moving on to the DGA. Period.

That's not subject to your understanding or acceptance. The fact that you lack both is of no consequence or interest to the producers nor should it be. I find it hysterical, ironic and absolutely stupid that the WGA is now pulling out all the stops and begging the producers to negotiate when YOU WERE THE ONES WHO CALLED THE GODDAMN STRIKE TO BEGIN WITH.

Skyfleur said...

Chuck, honestly. Get your deal with the DGA, that's not a problem. With no scripts, the directors won't have anything to shoot anyways.
So I wonder what a deal with the DGA would achieve ? There won't be work anyways.

As for Force majeure, bring it on. I'm pretty sure a lot of actors, directors and writers will be so happy to renegotiate their contracts on their own term when the situation is finally resolved. There's a pendant to force majeure : it cut costs as a short term effect but the long term effect is unknown and I would bet my life on it that actors, directors and writers will be happy at the idea of just increasing their demands. And when work restarts, I believe that every production company will have no choice in agreeing unless they want to replace every actor, writer etc etc who will stand u and not give in. That would be such poetic justice, don't you think ?

And, one question to you : why hasn't force majeure been used yet ? They could have called it on a lot of shows already, funnily, nothing has happened.....

ChuckT said...

Skyfleur said... "And, one question to you : why hasn't force majeure been used yet ? They could have called it on a lot of shows already, funnily, nothing has happened....."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Skyfleur, I predicted weeks ago that Force Majeure would most definitely be implemented (even when everyone scoffed at me) and I also predicted that the studios wouldn't implement force majeure until mid to late January. It would be foolish of them to do it now (they would seem like REAL assholes to do such a thing just before the holidays). Second, force majeure is analogous to cleaning house. After January is when you want that to happen (so that it can be reflected on the books for the first quarter of the year as opposed to the last quarter of this year). And, finally, the closer they implement it to when they have to negotiate with the DGA, the better. They are going to snap a bunch of crappy movies at Sundance (which ordinarily wouldn't have been given a second look) and then claim to need to tighten their belts as we settle into a recession.

If they did it now, it would look retaliatory. If they do it in January (when the whole country is broke after the holidays and looking at a recession) it will be viewed as a necessity.

And here's what you just don't get: most of you who are going to get cut off by force majeure AREN'T GOING TO BE GIVEN ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO GET ANOTHER DEAL. They're restructuring how they are doing business (everyone knows most of those development deals are bullshit and only weighs the books down). They will not be giving out deals like it's 1995. Those days are gone. It's going to be permanent. Don't kid yourselves.

Skyfleur said...

Hum and since when the AMPTP hasn't acted retaliatory ?

It's in their best interest to use force majeure now because it would look better if the last quarter of 2007 looked profitable. While right now, if they don't, they will show a semi profit. You really need to check your numbers again.
If they do it in January, not only will the cuts not show but it will be totally mitigated by all the losses from the coming quarters.

And honestly, who is going to buy that they're not doing it because they don't want to look like jerks ? They have already sent pink slips to everyone before the holidays. Your argument is faulty.

Force majeure applies to everyone, not just the writers. They can't pick and choose. Once this is launched, every actor, director, writer in the industry will be free to accept anything and my bet is they'll make it very hard to come back. The not profitable ones we know they'll lose everything, but I don't think the Shonda Rhymes etc are gonna be cut loose those are the ones that have big contracts. The cutting on small deals is pocket money. It's bad business and bad maths.

And for the record, I'm not a writer. And I take offense to your vulgarity. Drop the insults, it serves no one here, neither the AMPTP or the writers and only looks bad for you (and the AMPTP).

Truthinista said...

Sounds like Chuckie got a little Christmas bonus from the AMPTP to write some extra-snarky posts here. I can't believe you're so easily paid off...

In any event, I know a lot of writers post here, and as a fan, and as someone who hates their job more than words or interpretive dance can express, I'd trade my sh*tty paying job to be a WGA writer on strike any day. At least you guys love what you do and are fighting for it, which is something that most of us in this world can't say about our own jobs. It's something to be admired...

ChuckT said...

Skyfluer said: "And for the record, I'm not a writer. And I take offense to your vulgarity. Drop the insults, it serves no one here, neither the AMPTP or the writers and only looks bad for you (and the AMPTP)."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Why don't you start by telling me exactly WHAT was vulgar in my post? I haven't cursed and I haven't called anyone here a derogatory name. So, again, EXACTLY WHAT did I say in my post that can be considered "vulgar" and offensive?

Perhaps you have a problem with someone whose point of view is contrary to yours but I have made valid arguments that people have debated. If you can't do that, then you should not respond to my posts anymore.

As far as Force Majuere is concerned, they don't NEED to show it on the books for this year. They saved a crap-load of money by stopping productions because of the strike which means the last quarter numbers for this year are great (that's a fact - look it up). They most certainly are going to need to show it on the books for next year in light of the strike going on until the middle of the year and the recession. The heavy hitters are no safer than any of the low-level writers. All's fair game. THAT's what the writers don't understand (the basic rules of war - and make no mistake, for the producers, this is war). The heavy=hitting writers who make a lot of money are EXACTLY the ones they will hit first because the ripple effect it will have amongst the rest of the WGA members will have a huge impact and be demoralizing. They don't care if they have to renogotiate a contract with them (it's worth it to dump all of the other stale development deals).

But, hey, I'm insulting you, right? And I have no idea what I'm talking about right? I've been right so far but now, suddenly, there's NO CHANCE that they are going to implement force majeure in January. Right. Your lack of understanding as to why they are doing what their doing doesn't mitigate the fact that it will happen and be very demoralizing to the WGA members when it does. Of course, the WGA could always pray for a miracle.

Skyfleur said...

I was referring to this I find it hysterical, ironic and absolutely stupid , of course I could look at other posts and paste but i'm not wasting time on that.

Where did you see me saying they wouldn't do it in January ? I said, it makes no sense not that it will not happen.

So right, they're cutting loss because they were forced to stop production. Not because they wanted to but because they were forced to by the Strike: first faulty argument. Second : advertisers are asking for their money back : so they have to put it on the books at some point and since they've been very quietly all doing it, it's going to show for this quarter. So while they aren't losing money because production has stopped for shows with no scripts, they still had to pay directors, BTLs, actors while they were still shooting : so no cutting their loss there. And without force majeure, they still have to pay everyone on contract like actors or directors.
Also, GE CEO has said NBC is already losing a lot of money. SO, you may say the figures prove your point, but I prefer to listen to the GE CEO who admitted their profit is already down 5 points for this quarter.

As for the deals with the big ones : they were all renewed this year mostly, not in 1995 but in 2007. the 6/7/8 digits deals that were signed are not 1995 either, it's a very recent trend, maybe two or three years. Again, you might be right to a certain point but you're just not looking at the right periods. And I do not think Rhimes or any of the big wigs is going to happily renege on their deals. And again, you're avoiding talking about the other professionals. Fine, they will deal with the not profitable talent writer deals, but what about the actors and the directors ? Do you think that those that are in place and let go due to force majeure will come crawling back ? While there's so much at stake for them as well ? We should ask Steve Carrell ;)

You're making this as if only one contract is at stake but you're completely avoiding the situation. It's not one contract. It's three contracts. While the DGA might be considered a little weak, they have had surveys done to argue their position and I don't think that the $250 is gonna fly with them either.

As for force majeure kicking in and be demoralizing, every member of the WGA has been aware of this situation for weeks, same goes for actors and directors. In what way then would that be more demoralizing ?

There is a point where you need to be pragmatic and realistic.
You write as if the writers don't know what they're doing, the consequences of their actions. But they actually do. If you want to convince yourself of the opposite, that's fine. Nothing anyone could say would change your opinion anyways.

The fact is the congloms are receiving incentives to stay in LA. If they're callous enough not to care about the effect of their attitude, then, maybe these incentives should be rethought. And that's a fact. Punishment can go both ways, unfortunately.

Shawn said...

So ChuckT -
As you are so wise to what's going to happen, how do you think this strike will end?

And also, do you think that the WGA should drop ALL the provisions the AMPTP demands to bring the AMPTP back to the table?

Give us your take on what's a fair deal? I honestly would like to know.

Fear The Reaper said...

ChuckT

Your big DGA card doesn't mean shit if we don't agree to a deal. Essentially, the DGA has to make a deal that we find acceptable or their members will be #1) Hated by many people they have to work with and #2) Out of work.

No scripts, no work. So the DGA must do our bidding or they are screwed.

Get this through your thick skull: WE WILL ONLY GO BACK TO WORK IF WE GET A DECENT DEAL. WHAT THE DGA GETS DOES NOT MEAN SHIT IF WE DON'T AGREE TO IT.

jimmy said...

Fuck the Reaper

Stock-holder (a.k.a the 12%) said...

what is Force Majuere ?

Is it like the Salto Mortale???

ChuckT said...

"Get this through your thick skull: WE WILL ONLY GO BACK TO WORK IF WE GET A DECENT DEAL. WHAT THE DGA GETS DOES NOT MEAN SHIT IF WE DON'T AGREE TO IT."

I find your hysterical anger amusing. My point is that the WGA has to take a backseat to the DGA. Period. You're absolutely wrong that the DGA deal is meaningless if the WGA doesn't agree to it. THAT's the limited, black and white thinking that got you all into this mess to begin with.

Shawn, if you drop all of the provisions now you would lose big time. You would look like punks and the AMPTP would negotiate with you as if you were snot-faced kids who they managed to reprimand and "put in their place". And you most certainly can't force them to negotiate.

It would serve the WGA well now to step aside and let the DGA go in. Stay on the picket lines and keep the fires burning but fall back big time on trying to force the AMPTP to do anything (the more you try, the worse the situation gets) and keep the inflammatory rhetoric to a bare minimum (matter-of-fact, cut it out completely - it's not helping). It's only going to make the producers dig their heels in even more (they hate you intensely - the last thing you need is for them to negotiate from that hatred). Let the next month be used to allow them to cool down and refocus (by meeting with the DGA). In the meantime, the WGA needs to do the same. Cool down and refocus (use the time to figure out new media for the love of god - the DGA showed you their research data - take the time to process that and figure out your new media puzzle).

You'll hate the DGA deal but even if you do it can still be used to your advantage. Use the DGA deal with the AMPTP as the starting point for negotiations because it is at least a comfortable starting point for the producers AND it will be at least something close to what you all want (even if it's not exactly and wholly acceptable). At THAT point, drop the provisions (yes, all of them) but add one provision of your own (pick one that will be something that the producers will accept - there's method to what I'm saying - I know them very well). Let the DGA deal wipe the slate clean. WGA leadership will be able to save face by saying they'll drop the provisions if they can use the DGA deal as a starting point for negotiations (and by demanding their own "very reasonable" provision). And producers will be more flexible if they feel that there is at least some consensus on the DGA deal with the writers (even if it isn't what the final deal will be) and if the writers drop Reality TV and Animation (which you're NEVER EVER going to get - and we all know this).

But the bottom line is that the producers don't want to negotiate with you period right now. They have more to do in terms of restructuring this business and the strike is giving them the opportunity to do that (even though EVERYONE has to eat shit for a while including the producers).

The producers have to take this opportunity to test the limits of the system so that they can know how structure new media. They can't and won't walk into new media with all of this baggage (it's what killed old media to begin with).

Again, stop viewing the DGA negotiations as a threat. It could work against you but only if you let it. All I can say is, if the WGA lets the DGA's negotiation and ultimate settlement slip through their fingers without strategically using it to their advantage (one way or another), then they are truly foolish and you need to replace them. The DGA deal should be a step forward, not backwards.

Fear The Reaper said...

ChuckT,

Capital letters do not convey anger in this instance, i was trying to convey that I think you are an idiot and if I make the words larger you might understand.

But you don't. Because you are not so smart. Good luck with that. I think it's Gavin Pallone's bath time, why don't your bring him his towels.

Jimmy,

Fuck the reaper is hilarious. Sell it as a book, genius.

ChuckT said...

Fear the Reaper,

Grow up.