Herskovitz: Strike talks need to see bigger picture


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Marshall Herskovitz, president of the Producers Guild of America, called upon the AMPTP and the WGA to set aside their self-interest and reach an agreement that will end the current strike.

Speaking this morning at the PGA's annual nominees breakfast, Herskovitz said that neither the WGA nor the AMPTP "can honestly say they've done everything they can to resolve the strike."

Noting that the strike has caused hardship throughout the industry, he addressed the two groups, who have returned to informal talks but have not yet resumed formal negotiations.

"The time has come to look beyond the needs of your organizations," Herskovitz said. "They should apply themselves to solving the problem."

Herskovitz, whose producing credits range from the TV shows "thirtysomething" and "My So-called Life" to films such as "The Last Samurai" and "Blood Diamond" to the new web series "Quarterlife," said that in his role as PGA president, he had previously declined to
comment on Hollywood's current labor strife.

The PGA, which represents the interests of producers by working to secure health benefits, police credits and improve working conditions, is not a party to the current talks. The AMPTP, while it is informally referred to as "the producers," actually represents the studios and
production companies that are currently working out a new contract with the WGA. Herskovitz made his remarks at a panel he moderated that was made up of producers whose work is nominated for the Producer of the Year Award in Theatrical Motion Pictures, which will be announced tonight at the guild's annual awards banquet at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

He said he was moved to comment on the current situation since the producer's job, as demonstrated by the panelists, is to always look at the bigger picture when facing problems in bringing a film to the screen. He argued that the AMPTP and the writers have pursued
objectives that benefit their respective organizations, but now they need to take a bigger-picture perspective themselves in order to solve their differences.

The panel, held at the Highlands at Hollywood & Highland, was presented by the Hollywood Reporter and the PGA.

Reelz Channel, a presenting sponsor, recorded the panel, which will be carried on its web site, www.reelzchannel.com.