Los Angeles, May 6, 2008 - The AMPTP suspended negotiations with Screen Actors Guild today over the objections of SAG's negotiating committee. The committee had urged that the AMPTP continue discussion and had offered to negotiate around the clock if necessary in order to secure an agreement.
The AMPTP declined to continue negotiations with SAG claiming that it was necessary to turn their attention to negotiating with American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA).
Screen Actors Guild National President Alan Rosenberg said, "It is unfortunate and deeply troubling that the AMPTP would suspend our negotiations at this critical juncture. We have modified our proposals over the last three weeks in effort to bargain a fair contract for our members. We are committed to preserving rights that have been in place for decades and not giving the studios the right to use excerpts of our work in new media without our consent and negotiation. Our negotiating team is prepared to work around the clock for as long as it takes to get a fair deal. We want to keep the town working."
Over the last four weeks Screen Actors Guild negotiated in good faith and modified many of its proposals to the AMPTP. To date, the AMPTP has offered only a few modifications to its new media proposal which was submitted to SAG in three documents containing 36 provisions that differed from the deals agreed to with the WGA and DGA.
SAG's National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator Doug Allen stated, "We were hopeful that we could continue negotiations with the AMPTP and reach a tentative agreement. We modified our proposals in effort to narrow the gap between us and now we need the AMPTP do the same. SAG's objective is to keep the town working and get a fair contract, so we are gravely disappointed that we will now have to delay to a process that we started over three weeks ago. We are willing to work for as long as it takes to negotiate a good agreement for our members."
The AMPTP put forward a proposal that differed substantially from the deals signed with the DGA and WGA. Management's clip demand would gut existing provisions regarding actors' consent to use of their clips and would allow studios and networks to use or sell clips - going forward and from their libraries - in any way they choose and without consent.
Screen Actors Guild is the nation's largest labor union representing working actors. Established in 1933, SAG has a rich history in the American labor movement, from standing up to studios to break long-term engagement contracts in the 1940s to fighting for artists' rights amid the digital revolution sweeping the entertainment industry in the 21st century. With 20 branches nationwide, SAG represents over 122,00,000 actors who work in film and digital television, industrials, commercials, video games, music videos and all other new media formats. The Guild exists to enhance actors' working conditions, compensation and benefits and to be a powerful, unified voice on behalf of artists' rights. SAG is a proud affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Headquartered in Los Angeles, you can visit SAG online at www.sag.org
Screen Actors Guild
5757 Wilshire Blvd., 7th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90036