Studios agree to mediation
No one has ever accused the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers of being hasty. Four days after the actors called for bringing in a federal mediator to resolve stalled contract negotiations, the studios finally got around to giving an answer: OK, but don't expect much.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which bargains on behalf of the studios, said in a statement today that "we are, of course, willing to meet with a federal mediator in the hopes of achieving our fifth guild agreement this year."
But the alliance also downplayed expectations of a breakthrough, warning that it will be "difficult to reach an agreement if SAG continues to insist unreasonably that it deserves a better deal than the ones achieved by other entertainment guilds during far better times."
The decision was not unexpected given that the studios would have risked a backlash had they rejected the offer, which was made on Sunday by SAG's national board. Actors have been working without a contract since June 30.
-- Richard Verrier
Photo: Nick Counter, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times