The AMPTP failed to respond. “They have not tried to negotiate at all,” a SAG insider said. “These extensions on the talks were merely a ploy to situate themselves so they could be able to say, ‘We tried so hard with SAG.’ When just the opposite is true. They did nothing. When we spoke to them about this, they insisted they’d ‘not had time to review it.’ So, obviously, their only job description is, ‘Don’t make a deal.’
“We walked in to make a deal. But they walked in to not make a deal.”
One of the reasons that the SAG positions have not been made clearer is that the union leadership, rightly or wrongly, refused to make their demands public while negotiating with the AMPTP. But the moguls, as before against the WGA, used the mainstream media and the trades as mouthpieces. “Alan and Doug have remained mature and sober through this process by not trying to duke it out in the press,” a talks insider tells me.
Of course, the AMPTP is trying to pressure SAG to accept the DGA deal as is, just as it tried with the WGA. And just as before, the AMPTP will try to use a fast pact with AFTRA (and it will be a lousy pact, trust me, because that union’s always are) to induce SAG to accept less.
On new media, I’m told that the AMPTP uses that old saw, “We really need three years to look at this.” But SAG isn’t falling for that line: “We say back, ‘But there’s nothing about what you’ve done over the last three years that suggests you want to be our partners.”
The AMPTP keeps talking about how business practices are really changing and therefore challenging. SAG retorted in the negotiations, “You’re telling the world you’re making a lot of money, and you walk into this room and cry, ‘We’re poor boys’?” At one point, “they made a comparison between what an actor made in 1997 compared to 2007. Are they now going to announce how much their corporations made in 1997 versus what they made in 2007?”