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Hollywood Strike Talks Break Down, Again

Earlier this week, it looked like the striking writers had reached some common ground with the producers in Hollywood, but today the talks collapsed, the culmination of a day in which the sides traded barbs and accusations, reports AP. The strike is in its fifth week now.

AMPTP said it was “puzzled and disheartened” by the WGA’s ongoing negotiating strategy “that seems designed to delay or derail talks rather than facilitate an end to this strike.” In response, the guild said the chief alliance negotiator slammed the door before the union could respond to his latest proposal regarding crucial new-media compensation issues.

Last week, the studios had proposed a flat $250 payment for a year’s use of an hourlong TV show on the Web, and WGA said producers were holding to that offer and demanding that writers give up on proposals including unionization of animation and reality and, “most crucially, any proposal that uses distributor’s gross as a basis for residuals,” the story says.

THR: One of the other big stumbling blocks appears to be WGA’s demand for mandatory arbitration when studios’ licensing arrangements for Internet businesses are called into question…this would serve as “our protection against vertical integration and self-dealing (by the studios),” the guild said.