The AMPTP is making an interesting claim: that the timing of a recent complaint by the WGA about residual payments for new media was timed to help SAG’s Membership First hardliners.
The theory is that the WGA complaint was made public just as SAG and the Producers were getting serious about possible mediation.
While there were once close ties between the WGA leaders and some in the Membership First group, this theory seems highly unlikely.
Since a strike by SAG at this point in the current round of negotiations is likely to be a disaster, it would not be in the interest of any longer term alliance between the Guilds to push SAG into a poorly thought out walkout.
If, or when, a strike happens it will likely do much more damage to that relationship than would a hard fought effort to negotiate the best deal under very bad conditions (conditions that MF must take responsibility for creating).
The more likely scenario is that despite some ties between the new leadership of Patric Verrone at the WGA and Alan Rosenberg at SAG, the relationship is far more strained than it might appear.
It was SAG’s “go it alone” anti-AFTRA strategy that helped force the WGA hand last year. The result? A long strike that resulted in a deal no one was happy with yet was the best that could be done with SAG, the big Hollywood labor battleship, far off course.
If there were a fly on the wall of the WGA exec board when someone proposed helping Alan, Doug (5-4) Allen, Anne-Marie Johnson and David Jolliffe out of their self-made predicament, one could only imagine the guffaws that would have echoed around the room.