One Hollywood Insider At centre Of Strike, One Avoids It

With strike talks set to resume in the New Year, the LA Times looks at two personalities: one at the centre of the debacle and one who has studiously avoided it.

Now that talks between the writers and the studios have collapsed, Hollywood is now looking to Director’s Guild of American head negotiator Gil Cates to cut a digital deal with the studios that could serve as a template for the striking writers and the actors. “We all want a piece of the Internet. The difference is not in what we want but in the tactics we use to get it,” he told the Times.

Cates, 73, will produce his 14th Academy Awards show in February, but without a deal he’ll likely have to do it without stars, movie clips, or a red carpet. Ironically, he negotiated the now-infamous 1984 home video deal that fleeced the writers on DVD residuals.

On the other hand, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, member of the Screen Actor’s Guild and a man who owes his career and public image to the industry, is steering clear of the dispute, bizarre considering the strike is costing the LA economy¬† $220 million in lost wages a month.

Why? He won’t comment, but his associates indicate he sees little chance for political upside. President Clinton’s attempt to broker a deal during the Major League Baseball strike in 1995 offers a cautionary tale.

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