WGA Strike Watch: The AMPTP Fires Back

Mark your calendars folks. The gloves are officially off.

Apparently, the AMPTP doesn’t find the recent parody website mocking the organization very funny and in response has decided to release a press release chastising the WGA for what they believe is a “personal attack.”

This TV Addict’s concern: That the ridiculous public posturing by both the AMPTP and the WGA are keeping both sides from real negotiations. More importantly, it’s looking less and less likely that we’ll find a signed agreement between the two sides under our Christmas Trees (or Chanukah bushes) come December 25.

Judge for yourself by reading this AMPTP press release that just found its way into this TV Addict’s mailbox.

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.


AMPTP Board of Directors

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  • plinstrot

    What Douchebags. (The AMPTP not the writers)

  • shamangrrl

    Dear Lord. The AMPTP really believes that we (the public and the writers) are that stupid? I find it frightening how they can use such tiny doses of the truth to sow fear and (they hope) dissent. They make me ill.

  • Aileen

    If the AMPTP was REALLY concerned about California’s economy and the little people hurt by the strike, maybe they should do more to concede more in a fight they are likely to lose in the end, anyway.

    But there was a very interesting article in the business section of the New York Times on Monday (titled “Screenwriters dig in for an extended brawl”) that TVaddict might want to link to that does agree that the writers are looking not just for a pay deal, but for more power for writers overall, such as bringing reality TV show writers into the union and “for oversight of the fair-market value of intracompany transactions that might affect writer pay.”

    I support the union, but can we just concentrate on the pay thing, which is a completely reasonable thing to strike for, and get the deal done so we can have TV back?

  • Jonh

    Yea please i want my series back , how long till this never ending stike ends???..1 month 2 months 3 months ( God plz no !)
    I do support the writers but this is starting to get out of control.

  • Jonh


  • http://whatisthegfor.vox.com Tim G.

    The AMPTP’s use of select nuggets of truthiness to spin faults of their own and attempt to gain sympathy and support from the public reminds me of some other group and it’s leader. I want to say they’re pretty powerful and high up, it’s on the tip of my tongue…


  • Cameron

    wow– the AMPTP’s new PR team is really at work here. Their “new” proposals are not fair at all despite them labeling it as such. They are the ones who walked away from the bargaining table. If they care so much they should return and negotiate the way they are supposed to. However, I agree that the WGA needs to drop the reality tv and animation stuff and stick with the new media payment affecting the writers who are already in the guild.

  • Roberto Orci

    the AMPTP should not take a parody of their website personally. They should, however, see it for what it really is: a part of the ongoing effort to keep morale high among striking writers who are facing a holiday season filled with great uncertainty.

  • Hil

    Meh. I think the writers are just as bad as the suits. Sure, they need a raise, but they are making it out to be some kind of epic injustice. They won’t starve if they don’t get their raise in the near future. Sorry if I don’t shed any tears over their predicament. Both sides have made a public joke out of this. Maybe if either of them took it seriously and *gasp* did not try to leverage public sentiment with their little skits and press releases and the like. It just pisses everyone off and makes it harder to compromise. AND the people who are really suffering are the people who don’t have much money to begin with and now don’t have jobs at all at Christmas time. I’ll be sad for them. As for the other two, sort it out like adults, quit making skits and publicity stunts and insider info, and do it fast because I am really sick of this.

    I really don’t know why everyone is siding with the writers. Sure, we love the shows and the writers are a big part of it, but this is a business thing and while they need a raise I really don’t like how public all this has been. Not “public” as in facts and figures but as in mocking and jokes.

  • Hil

    And no, I am not a fan of AMPTP either. I just really don’t get all the WGA love when they’ve been acting childish as well. It is all rather embarrassing they both can’t act like adults and take this seriously.

  • http://www.nataliedamschroder.com Natalie

    I’ve been paying attention to the strike since the day it started, and it was NEVER about “just the pay thing.” The stuff the AMPTP is dredging up now has been on the table since the beginning of negotiations. When the strike was announced, reports were that there were about 30 items at the time that the two sides had not come to terms on, but the CORE items, the ones that caused the biggest stumbling block, were the DVD residuals and pay for new media (downloads and Internet streaming).

    When you read the actual proposals by the AMPTP, it’s pretty obvious they are all about winning, not meeting somewhere in the middle, which is what the WGA negotiators are trying to do (they have submitted counterproposals on certain items between what they originally requested and what the AMPTP proposed).

    As for the parodies and jokes, come on. These aren’t coming from the negotiators. These are coming from the rank and file–creative people who are finding an outlet for their frustration in the way that suits them. I would rather see these than molotov cocktails and rotten eggs tossed during strikes in other industries.

  • Hil

    I guess the parodies and jokes, rank and file or not, just don’t come off well on me. Especially when people who don’t get the wages the writers do are losing their jobs because production has stopped. Comes off a bit childish to me, not creative. It would be one thing if it was passed around among friends but a lot of it is public. Thanks for explaining some things more though.

  • KaeDee

    Hil – I’m with you. Both sides are skewing their PR reports (its so completely obvious), and I don’t understand why all the AMPTP hate. Just because its a huge conglomeration? Hating the big corporation: can people get any more cliched? The writers signed their last contract, so obviously they liked that compromise. Both sides needs to quit the tiresome grandstanding and come back to the table and do their JOBS, which is reach a compromise.

  • http://www.nerdz.com WonderJew

    Oh PLEASE! You’re saying that the AMPTP is ‘just a business’ is a crock of shit. Without the writers these people wouldn’t have any business and vice versa. It’s a classic case of one side taking the other for granted. The WGA has been pushed around for too long and it’s time they take a stand for the next generation of writers.

    Support the writers… DON’T WATCH REALITY TV!

  • http://blog.jeevesatplay.com Rajeev Iyer

    The “pay” thing comes off as one of the most imnportant considerations. Writers like actors/ actresses, and other high payday jobs, may get paid large quantities for a function/service performed now, but like any product lifetime, eventually, the writers will live off the royalties for their work. The growing influence of DVDs, and the re-release of classics on multiple new media ensure that even the oldest members of the Guild will benefit from this agreement. Even the lowest paid writer who writes a movie for home release will benefit from this agreement. The AMPTP however needs to own everything, and dont really care for the writers.

    Writers build franchises, the AMPTP profits from them, and the studios, and the executives.

    It helps that the writers rarely wear suits :-)

  • shanna

    I enjoy the parody sites etc, because it’s exactly how to get public attention. To me it’s no different from enjoying an episode of The Daily Show, which I sorely miss.

    Let’s face facts, the congloms are trying to control everything. When indies started getting big, they came up wth indie “divisions” to control people trying to get around the studios, they attempt to control radio stations, tv stations, news, films basically how we get all our information.And on top of it all, they aren’t even fairly compensating the people who keep the wheels turning. And when this strike started their first tactic, beyond media spin, was to fire below-the-line workers to pressure showrunners into coming back.

    These are not nice people. And if the writers want to crack a few jokes, and stage some exorcisms at their expense, I say whatever helps you dig in your heels until the AMPTP caves.

    Btw, it’s their own fault about that mock website. What kind of idiots don’t buy the similar web domains to their own (.org, .net, etc) Oh right … cheap idiots.

  • http://steveadams steve adams

    I second that notion!

    Support the Writers and don’t watch reality tv !!!!