- by Ari Emanuel
Dear Peter, Les, Barry, Bob, and your AMPTP cohorts,
We all see the strategy you guys have been playing: put the rollback of residuals on the table, then take them off and act like this is some great, magnanimous gesture. I suppose the hardliners among you enjoyed the move, but everyone knew it was just a negotiating ploy and not a viable position.
Then there was the way you didn't negotiate for the seven months leading up to the pending strike, then thought you could get a settlement done in seven hours. Right.
After the writers went on strike in New York while you were still negotiating in Los Angeles, your guys faked indignation and proclaimed that you can't negotiate with a union that has gone on strike. But many times autoworkers -- and other unions -- have gone on strike and the owners have continued to negotiate. You say you want a settlement but act like you are more interested in punishing the writers.
We all see the other leg of your strategy: make a deal with the Director's Guild in early December, then try and turn up the heat on the writers. Do you really think that by making a deal with the directors you are going to do anything other than utterly alienate the working members of the WGA? When you put rollbacks on the table, you lost the Ventura Blvd writers. This strategy of using a deal with the directors as leverage will lose you any support you might have among the more moderate working writers.
The writers have taken their big issue -- DVD residuals -- off the table. So can't you just step up and put a sensible, viable, and fair offer on the table that deals with the other key issues of jurisdiction and new media?
This should not become a contest over who has the best strategy. You want points for your plan to make a deal with the directors? Okay: kudos on a great tactic. Tell your hardliners we're impressed.
Now can the moderates on both sides please get back to talking?