Earlier this evening, talks between the WGA and AMPTP broke down once again. Negotiating between the two sides for a second time began shortly after the Thanksgiving break following three weeks of picketing, protests and celebrity spotting. This time, things were nasty, with each side releasing a statement that pretty much amounts to a spit in the face (though the WGA's letter kind of wipes off that spit, and makes an attempt to hug it out). Here's the breakdown (without all the strike lingo and number stuff): AMPTP delivered a proposal that was better, but not really, because it would require the WGA to remove several of their important demands. The WGA ran into a hotel room, locked the door and debated their next move. While still in the hotel room, AMPTP knocked on the door and told them they were leaving the bargaining table -- that this was a take it or leave it proposal -- and when the WGA send a letter stating that all of those demands are taken off the table, they'll go back to talking. Game on!
A few noteworthy lines from each side's official statement:
WGA: "We reject the idea of an ultimatum. Although a number of items we have on the table are negotiable, we cannot be forced to bargain with ourselves. The AMPTP has many proposals on the table that are unacceptable to writers, but we have never delivered ultimatums."
"We remain ready and willing to negotiate, no matter how intransigent our bargaining partners are, because the stakes are simply too high. We were prepared to counter their proposal tonight, and when any of them are ready to return to the table, we're here, ready to make a fair deal."
AMPTP: "While the WGA's organizers can clearly stage rallies, concerts and mock exorcisms, we have serious concerns about whether they're capable of reaching reasonable compromises that are in the best interests of our entire industry."
"Their Quixotic pursuit of radical demands led them to begin this strike, and now has caused this breakdown in negotiations. We hope that the WGA will come back to this table with a rational plan that can lead us to a fair and equitable resolution to a strike that is causing so much distress for so many people in our industry and community."
Then there's this gem from the studio and network reps: "Under no circumstances will we knowingly participate in the destruction of this business."
So, are things f**ked ... or are they f**ked?
[via Deadline Hollywood]