AMPTP: Share revenue 'fairly'


The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers on Monday issued an "open letter" indicating its desire to "share fairly" the revenue generated from new media and other areas with the industry's talent.

The letter comes a week before the AMPTP and SAG start formal talks, and on the first day of negotiations with IATSE. It is the most extensive comment the producers have issued since the 100-day WGA strike ended in February and attention turned to negotiating the SAG and AFTRA contracts, which expire June 30.

In the letter, the AMPTP outlines its commitment to the talks (April 15 with SAG and April 28 for AFTRA) and that it will look to the principles that helped it successfully negotiate with the DGA and, eventually, the WGA.

Borrowing from the WGA's "fair share" mantra that striking writers used in their campaign, the AMPTP states, "We should all share fairly in the revenues we generate -- including new revenue from the emerging areas of new media."

The producers consider the new contracts "new economic partnerships," but feel it's necessary to allow it breathing room to adapt to the rapidly changing landscape of markets and technologies.

"Too many industries have failed to respond quickly enough to these changes, and we are determined to position our businesses -- and the employees and shareholders who rely on them -- to succeed and grow in this challenging environment," the letter states.

Lastly, the AMPTP said it will continue to "make the reasonable compromises that are necessary" to avoid another strike.

In response to the letter, SAG chief negotiator Doug Allen said the union is looking forward to "productive negotiations" with the producers. AFTRA declined comment.

For weeks, as SAG and AFTRA has been dueling it out over negotiations with producers, the AMPTP has kept mum about the upcoming talks and has declined comment on the sister unions infighting. AFTRA backed out of its 27-year joint bargaining agreement with SAG on its primetime contract more than a week ago.

In other labor news, the WGA announced its plans to file several claims today that could total more than $500,000 with the Division of Labor Standards office in Van Nuys, Calif.

The guild claims that top reality TV shows, including "American Idol" and "The Amazing Race" short workers, including writers, production assistants, contestant coordinators, craft services and office workers, in overtime and breaks, despite working long hours.