A new letter was sent yesterday by the AMPTP Board of Directors to companies represented by the AMPTP in the 2007 WGA negotiations. In essence, it blames the WGA for the breakdown and laments the loss of jobs and economic impact: “By now you know that those in charge at the WGA have injected substantial new doses of vitriol into the important and continuing debate on our industry’s future. On Monday, in a letter to members of the WGA East, the president of that organization wrote: “They lie. And then they lie again. And then they lie some more.”
Then, someone from the WGA offices happily distributed the link to a hijacked parody website that even many rank-and-file WGA members felt was over-the-top. All of this is happening right along with the WGA’s continuing series of concerts, rallies, mock exorcisms, pencil-drops and Star Trek-themed gatherings.
Amidst this alternating mix of personal attacks and picket line frivolity, we must not forget that this WGA strike is beginning to cause serious economic damage to many people in the entertainment business.
While the WGA’s world-class health care benefits remain secure, tens of thousands of below-the-line workers are seeing their health insurance jeopardized by the continuing strike. In addition, our entire Southern California community is beginning to feel the effects of the grinding shutdown of an industry that is the lifeblood of the region’s economy.
We believe that the best way to end this economic harm is for everyone to understand, in detail, the significant issues involved in this dispute. That is why we will continue to explain our position at every opportunity and promptly refute, with facts, the mistaken assertions made by the WGA’s spokespeople. We will also continue to emphasize what we believe: writers should be compensated from the revenues created by new media and we have backed this up with several new proposals in this area.
In addition, we believe everyone impacted by this strike should know that negotiations have broken down over the WGA’s jurisdictional demands — demands which have everything to do with increasing the union organizers’ clout, but very little to do with the real needs of working writers. We also want to make clear our determination to do what is right for this industry by making a fair deal that allows us to compete successfully in a rapidly changing marketplace. We recognize the importance to your employees and shareholders in creating a modern economic system that works for all of us. That is our paramount goal — a goal we will continue to work for until it is achieved.”