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HomeBlog the LineWGA Statement on deal with Lionsgate; BTL's "Source" checks in; Excelsior!

WGA Statement on deal with Lionsgate; BTL's "Source" checks in; Excelsior!


So the WGA made a long-expected deal with Lionsgate this afternoon, and promptly released the following statement:


LOS ANGELES – Leading independent filmed entertainment studio Lionsgate is the latest company to sign an interim agreement with the Writers Guild of America. The company is one of the largest independent producers and distributors of motion pictures, television programming, home entertainment, family entertainment and video-on-demand content.

The agreement is similar to the deals the WGA has recently announced with United Artists, Worldwide Pants, Spyglass Entertainment, MRC, Jackson Bites, Mandate Films, and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment.

“We are pleased Lionsgate has joined the growing number of companies that have signed interim agreements with the Writers Guild,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, and Michael Winship, president of the Writers Guild of America, East, in a joint statement. “Lionsgate is considered a leader in the industry, and its signing an interim agreement again confirms that it is possible for both writers to be compensated fairly and respectfully for their work and for companies to operate profitably.”

Upcoming Lionsgate films include Rambo, The Eye, Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns, Forbidden Kingdom, My Best Friend’s Girl, Punisher 2, Saw 5, and The Spirit. Upcoming television series include Weeds (Showtime, fourth season), Mad Men (AMC, second season), and Fear Itself (NBC, debut season).

On top of that, BTL’s WGA strike cap’n Source checked in, and this is what s/he has to say abiout the notion of the DGA settlement-as-template, etc.:

I’ve read the DGA deal up against the AMPTP’s last offers (12/7) & the WGAs demands. I might maybe understand most of it….I think. But clearly, there are a LOT of WGA issues that do not affect the DGA and weren’t even a part of the DGAs negotiations or contract. Also, the fact that for film, directors can negotiate points (only super duper A-list writers who get producer credit seem to be able to do that) then that affects their deal vs. ours.

My take on the whole thing, is that the end result with lie OF COURSE somewhere between what we want and what they’re offering, and my guess is that if they come up on a few very key issues, the membership will ratify a contract. Everyone’s tired and broke.

But we also won’t cave. After all this time, and all this loss, the AMPTP is going to have to make some earnest offers and not just bait & switch. If they bait & switch, I don’t think that the public perception will turn on the WGA either. They’re not hurting, and they could settle for so little.

Honestly, I think they’ve been waiting for Force Majeure to dump deals – which is why I said in the first place when this whole thing started that I thought the AMPTP was asking for a strike so they could clean house. Their position was so completely ridiculous. I also think they were trying to tank the fall TV season. It’s….lackluster – to say the least — and instead of taking the hit themselves and admitting they’ve got no taste and greenlit some totally weak shows, then spent too much hyping them, they’re going to say the strike killed the shows.

Whatever. I’d just like to get back to the point where I could pitch stuff, talk to people about JOBS and GET BACK TO WORK…but not at all costs. Like I said, we’ve sacrificed too much. As have COUNTLESS others.

I would like to say though, that the media spin of this has been almost complete – that the perception has been that other people are out of work because WE went on strike, not because the AMPTP was being ludicrous and greedy and Machiavellian. Time and time again I hear it – it’s the WGA’s fault all these people are out of work. Not so.

And for those of you who remember Stan Lee’s sign off “Excelsior,” during his Marvel Comics heyday, you’ll be glad at hearing late word that Marvel Studios has likewise inked with the writers. Bring on that Avengers film!

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