AMPTP Ends SAG Talks

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has broken off talks with the Screen Actors Guild, citing "unreasonable demands" by the actors union after 18 days of face-to-face negotiations.

The producers group will move on to negotiations with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which has been waiting in the wings for negotiations to start on a new pact for the actors it represents, including the casts of some cable fare such as FX's Rescue Me. 

The AMPTP said negotiations with SAG were extended twice and the producers group was not inclined to extend talks again. The AMPTP hope to return to the table with SAG after it wraps up talks with AFTRA. The two sides have until June 30 before the current SAG contract expires.

"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,"

Screen Actors Guild National President Alan Rosenberg said in a statement. "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." 

According to the producers, SAG came to the negotiating table with 36 "major new proposals" beyond the issues, such as compensation for work displayed on the Internet, that were resolved in previous contract agreements with writers and directors. SAG has been pushing for greater compensation from DVD sales and a share of product placement revenues, for instance, and AMPTP said more than a few of the new proposals are "deal breakers." 

"In the end, this round of SAG negotiation ended without an agreement because SAG simply refused to recognize the fundamental business and labor principles that have already been accepted by the directors, writers and producers," the AMPTP said in a statement.