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first_imgNegotiations between striking Hollywood writers and studios collapsed Friday, the culmination of a day in which the sides traded barbs and accusations. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced that the round of talks that started Tuesday had broken down, stalling efforts to end the five-week strike that has sidelined many prime-time and late-night TV shows. The alliance said it was “puzzled and disheartened” by the Writers Guild of America’s ongoing negotiating strategy “that seems designed to delay or derail talks rather than facilitate an end to this strike.” In response, the guild said the chief alliance negotiator slammed the door on bargaining after presenting an ultimatum and before the union could respond to his latest proposal regarding crucial new-media compensation issues. That contrasts with the $20,000-plus residual that writers now earn for a single network rerun of a TV episode. Friday night, the guild said producers were holding to their $250 offer and demanding that writers give up on proposals including unionization of animation and reality and, “most crucially, any proposal that uses distributor’s gross as a basis for residuals.” As word of the breakdown spread, some writers expressed frustration. “It’s disheartening that a month into this, I’m not getting the overwhelming sense that we’re getting any closer to a settlement,” said Robert Port, a writer for the CBS series “Numb3rs.” “I hope we can continue to negotiate and wrap this thing up.” Strikers held a protest rally Friday in Burbank outside FremantleMedia North America. FremantleMedia was declining comment, a security guard at the company told reporters. Entertaining the striking WGA members outside the studio Friday were actress Alfre Woodard and the satirical rock band Tenacious D, composed of musician/actors Kyle Gass and Jack Black.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat Kings“As we prepared our counteroffer, at 6:05 p.m., Nick Counter came and said to us, in the mediator’s presence, `We are leaving. When you write us a letter saying you will take all these items off the table, we will reschedule negotiations with you,”‘ according to a union statement. A detailed alliance announcement on the talks’ collapse was released a short time later. The guild said it remained “ready and willing to negotiate, no matter how intransigent our bargaining partners are, because the stakes are simply too high.” The alliance reiterated its position that its latest offer aimed at settling a central contract issue – compensation for the Internet and other digital media – makes it “possible to find common ground.” Last week, the studios had proposed a flat $250 payment for a year’s use of an hourlong TV show on the Web. last_img
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