Writers’ Strike Heats Up

LOS ANGELES The main trade group representing Hollywood producers railed against the economic impact of the writers’ strike action, which entered its seventh week.

“The below-the-line workers whose families depend entirely on our industry have already lost more than $200 million in the Los Angeles area alone, and the healthcare benefits for many of these families are now in real jeopardy because of the WGA strike,” the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers said in a statement posted on the organization’s Web site.

“The working writers themselves have now lost more than $115 million, and these writers are no closer today to getting their fair share of new-media revenues than they were when the strike began,” the AMPTP said. “The economic impact to our regional economy is also growing. By January, the economic losses to the region will exceed $200 million a month, with as many as a third of the entertainment industry’s 250,000 jobs jeopardized.”

Separately, the Hollywood Post Alliance, a trade association of post house and equipment vendors, released a statement imploring the studios and the WGA to “resume talks and diligently negotiate until a settlement is reached.”

The HPA noted that post houses and their employees often are hired on a project-by-project basis, so when production ceases, so does post revenue and salaries.

“With a prolonged work stoppage and the associated economic hardship on this project-based workforce, the Hollywood entertainment industry stands to lose thousands of talented post-production workers as they seek alternative sources of income by changing careers or move to other locales where they can apply their craft,” the HPA said.

Elsewhere on the strike front, Screen Actors Guild president Alan Rosenberg issued a statement distributed to Writers Guild of America members and posted to the WGA’s Web site underscoring his group’s commitment to the strike by declaring, “Your fight is our fight.”

SAG members have regularly joined the WGA’s picket lines in New York and Los Angeles.

“As most television shows and motion pictures have shut down, actors are not working,” Rosenberg said in a message e-mailed to WGA members and posted on the WGA West’s Web site. “But we know that this fight is for the rights of all creative artists, and our collective future is at stake.

“We share your sound and reasonable goals for fair compensation for new-media formats, and we believe you are doing the right thing by taking a stand,” he said. “As 2007 comes to an end, please be assured [that] SAG will stand with you for as long as it takes.”