HOLDING OUR BREATH: WRITERS IMPENDING STRIKE

Last Updated: November 3, 2007By

(By Ali Naderzad, SCREEN COMMENT) This Monday the American film industry will be watching as the writers guild teethers on the brink of a strike. The walk-out, scheduled for 12:01 am Monday, was recommended at a standing-room only meeting of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) West and Writers Guild of America East late this week. In a final attempt to avoid the threatened walkout, negotiators from the Guild and from the studios and the networks will return to the negotiating table on Sunday morning to once again stake their claims, flesh out the contractual legalese and hopefully extend a conciliatory hand. The 10 am meeting was convened at the bequest of a federally-appointed mediator. Which issues are on the table? New media, internet re-use, DVDs, jurisdiction. The bottom line is greenbacks, of course, and the Writers Guild has some justification. While the studios are once again enjoying great financial successes, the percentage of residuals writers receive from DVD or internet downloads has barely inched upward over the past five years. In its laundry list of demands the WGA is asking to double DVD residuals. Nick Counter, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers, said about the strike, “The WGA’s call for a strike is precipitous and irresponsible,” he said.

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