Sunday, December 16, 2007

WGA to Deal Directly

The WGA today said it would consider approaching and working with studios and production companies independently, apart from the AMPTP, who dropped all negotiations with the Writers' Guild last week. The AMPTP said the WGA was "grasping for straws" and that this move proved they had no clear-cut strategy for engaging in negotiations.

As with everything in the entertainment world, I don't know who's telling the truth nor which way to turn. It seems pretty straightforward to me: give the writers their due on DVD sales and Web content, period.

Of course, the WGA included a new provision during negotiations which the AMPTP claims proved the dealbreaker: the WGA wants to unionize writers for reality TV shows and animated series. I don't know how I feel about that, but I also don't know the specifics involved, so I can't really put in my two-cents' worth there.

However, I do have to question how this would be a "dealbreaker." After all, that's why they're called negotiations, right? Sure, the main thing here are the dividends on the DVD and Web sales, but what's wrong with adding a few more things to the plate, so long as talks have been initiated? Whether or not the new provisions get included in the eventual deal, or are even seriously considered to any real extent, is an entirely other matter; the mere fact that they were brought up shouldn't end all negotiations.

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