AFTRA Counters Stanley Brooks' Final Offer
Producer's firms to file for bankruptcy if his offer isn't accepted
AFTRA on Sunday tendered a counterproposal to Stanley Brooks' take-it-or-leave-it offer to settle unpaid residuals on the 2008 Logo TV series "Sordid Lives."
The move comes in the face of a threat by Brooks that if his offer isn't accepted, he almost immediately will file for bankruptcy on behalf of his main company, Once Upon a Time Films, and Sordid Lives Prods., a special-purpose company formed for the show.
Brooks said Friday in a passionate letter to performers owed money that if he files bankruptcy, creditors will get even less than the $500,000 he is offering to settle about $1.5 million in debt.
AFTRA held meetings and conference calls Friday and during the weekend to discuss the offer. Among the actors in the production are Bonnie Bedelia; the late Rue McClanahan, who is represented by her estate; and Anne Walker, who was seen in a YouTube video confronting Brooks about the unpaid residuals as he chaired a meeting of the California Film Commission.
Brooks isn't expected to immediately accept AFTRA's compromise offer, which includes a demand to keep the $500,000 payment separate from future claims. Brooks apparently prefers a buyout of all current and future revenue streams.
There was no response Sunday to a request for comment from Brooks' attorney.
Brooks made his "final" offer Friday morning with a deadline at the end of business. That was extended late Friday afternoon to Sunday at noon at the request of AFTRA, which presented its counter just before noon Sunday.
The WGA is expected to go ahead with plans to go to court Tuesday to certify its financial claims. If the guild can do that before the bankruptcy, they would have precedence even after bankruptcy. Brooks' rush to file apparently is to avoid that potential court order.
In its first brief communication Friday, AFTRA said it spoke for the DGA, WGA and MPI (the IATSE pension fund) in response to Brooks' offer. Later in the day, AFTRA said it spoke only for itself.
AFTRA on Sunday declined comment on Brooks or the negotiations.