Nov 25, 2020
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Layoffs continue to loom during WGA strike

As the writers strike heads well into its second week, the level of hostility in Hollywood continues to grow.

With hopes for resuming negotiations having cratered, early layoffs have already hit the TV sector hard. But the pain will likely extend to other areas over the next month as companies use "force majeure" clauses to negate term deals and reduce actors’ paychecks.

Because force majeure clauses usually require six weeks after a strike has started to kick in, there’s a lurking suspicion that the companies won’t push for a quick return to the bargaining table.

WGA picketing resumes today in Los Angeles at the major studio lots, with the guild telling supporters to show up at 6 a.m., three hours earlier than last week. The crack-of-dawn start means that Teamster trucks will likely turn away from studio gates, since that union allows individual members to honor picket lines without reprisal.

Back-channel efforts to jumpstart WGA negotiations have been largely halted, even though bargaining had been progressing when talks fell apart on Nov. 4. The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers is demanding that the WGA institute a cooling-off period as a condition for re-starting talks; the WGA insists that the AMPTP respond more substantively to its most recent package.

Three months of harsh negotiating rhetoric – combined with widely differing interpretations of the contract talks – have fueled resentment on both sides. And it’s started to poison relationships in a town where connections are the coin of the realm.

"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane touched a nerve Friday when he elicited perhaps the angriest response among the 4,000 attendees at Friday’s WGA rally at Fox Plaza. Invoking the image of the companies as schoolyard bullies, he recounted that all "Family Guy" assistants had been fired by Fox on the third day of the strike.

"Instead of negotiating, they lashed out at the little guy," MacFarlane added. "What a classy move."

Some fear that the strike will allow studios and networks to employ a scorched-earth approach to cut expenses and punish those who have fallen out of favor. Force majeure terms provide opt-out provisions in the event of an occurrence beyond the control of the parties. While top producers often have clauses in their deals that preclude them from being discharged under these terms, smaller producers and writers are vulnerable.

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

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Front Page, Industry News

Layoffs continue to loom during WGA strike

As the writers strike heads well into its second week, the level of hostility in Hollywood continues to grow.

With hopes for resuming negotiations having cratered, early layoffs have already hit the TV sector hard. But the pain will likely extend to other areas over the next month as companies use "force majeure" clauses to negate term deals and reduce actors’ paychecks.

Because force majeure clauses usually require six weeks after a strike has started to kick in, there’s a lurking suspicion that the companies won’t push for a quick return to the bargaining table.

WGA picketing resumes today in Los Angeles at the major studio lots, with the guild telling supporters to show up at 6 a.m., three hours earlier than last week. The crack-of-dawn start means that Teamster trucks will likely turn away from studio gates, since that union allows individual members to honor picket lines without reprisal.

Back-channel efforts to jumpstart WGA negotiations have been largely halted, even though bargaining had been progressing when talks fell apart on Nov. 4. The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers is demanding that the WGA institute a cooling-off period as a condition for re-starting talks; the WGA insists that the AMPTP respond more substantively to its most recent package.

Three months of harsh negotiating rhetoric – combined with widely differing interpretations of the contract talks – have fueled resentment on both sides. And it’s started to poison relationships in a town where connections are the coin of the realm.

"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane touched a nerve Friday when he elicited perhaps the angriest response among the 4,000 attendees at Friday’s WGA rally at Fox Plaza. Invoking the image of the companies as schoolyard bullies, he recounted that all "Family Guy" assistants had been fired by Fox on the third day of the strike.

"Instead of negotiating, they lashed out at the little guy," MacFarlane added. "What a classy move."

Some fear that the strike will allow studios and networks to employ a scorched-earth approach to cut expenses and punish those who have fallen out of favor. Force majeure terms provide opt-out provisions in the event of an occurrence beyond the control of the parties. While top producers often have clauses in their deals that preclude them from being discharged under these terms, smaller producers and writers are vulnerable.

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Front Page, Industry News

Layoffs continue to loom during WGA strike

As the writers strike heads well into its second week, the level of hostility in Hollywood continues to grow.

With hopes for resuming negotiations having cratered, early layoffs have already hit the TV sector hard. But the pain will likely extend to other areas over the next month as companies use "force majeure" clauses to negate term deals and reduce actors’ paychecks.

Because force majeure clauses usually require six weeks after a strike has started to kick in, there’s a lurking suspicion that the companies won’t push for a quick return to the bargaining table.

WGA picketing resumes today in Los Angeles at the major studio lots, with the guild telling supporters to show up at 6 a.m., three hours earlier than last week. The crack-of-dawn start means that Teamster trucks will likely turn away from studio gates, since that union allows individual members to honor picket lines without reprisal.

Back-channel efforts to jumpstart WGA negotiations have been largely halted, even though bargaining had been progressing when talks fell apart on Nov. 4. The Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers is demanding that the WGA institute a cooling-off period as a condition for re-starting talks; the WGA insists that the AMPTP respond more substantively to its most recent package.

Three months of harsh negotiating rhetoric – combined with widely differing interpretations of the contract talks – have fueled resentment on both sides. And it’s started to poison relationships in a town where connections are the coin of the realm.

"Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane touched a nerve Friday when he elicited perhaps the angriest response among the 4,000 attendees at Friday’s WGA rally at Fox Plaza. Invoking the image of the companies as schoolyard bullies, he recounted that all "Family Guy" assistants had been fired by Fox on the third day of the strike.

"Instead of negotiating, they lashed out at the little guy," MacFarlane added. "What a classy move."

Some fear that the strike will allow studios and networks to employ a scorched-earth approach to cut expenses and punish those who have fallen out of favor. Force majeure terms provide opt-out provisions in the event of an occurrence beyond the control of the parties. While top producers often have clauses in their deals that preclude them from being discharged under these terms, smaller producers and writers are vulnerable.

<font size=1>Source: Variety</font>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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