During Wednesday’s Disney earnings call (live blog at SAI), CEO Bob Iger weighed in on the studios-SAG stalemate. The man who helped resolve the writers’ strike thinks SAG should have taken the studios’ “final offer”:
[T]he industry put forward a very comprehensive proposal that essentially mirrored on all fronts the elements of new media that the other guilds had already agreed to, as well as addessing issues that were important to SAG on old media issues. And SAG did not see fit to accept those terms…
We find it difficult to offer to SAG terms that are different than those terms that the other guilds agreed to and believe the terms that were offered were fair given the circumstances and other deals that were agreed to. So, the negotiation basically ended a couple of weeks ago and to my knowledge there hasn’t been any real attempt at progress since then, so I don’t really have a prediction as to how this impasse can be broken or where it can go.
But it’s not having a particularly damaging effect on our business because we’ve decided to move forward with a number of our productions until such time as we feel that’s not prudent. I don’t think there’s any work stoppage imminent, by the way. I think it would be a very, very difficult thing for this guild in this environment to take on and probably rather unpopular as well…
Iger’s comments are in some ways not surprising, given that he and Peter Chernin apparently met with the SAG heads back in February and balked at their insistence then that they get a better offer on DVDs and new media from the studios than what the writers got
Good luck fighting the good fight on those additional new media issues, SAG! But don’t count on getting any help from Bob Iger. The SAG standoff: getting less popular every day.
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