So now the producers don’t want to be associated with the Alliance Of Motion Picture & Television Producers. Let me explain… Since the start of the contract talks with the Writers Guild Of America, AMPTP has referred to itself as “producers”. Its website claims it reps “350 motion picture and television producers (member companies include studios, broadcast networks, certain cable networks and independent producers).” But the organization has yet to tell me how many of those 350 come under the umbrella of the Big Media corporations like News Corp, Time Warner, GE, Viacom, Sony, MGM, Time Warner. Well, today, I received this email from the Producers Guild Of America (PGA) attempting to distance itself from the AMPTP:

“First, allow me to say how we appreciate your ‘front lines’ coverage of the WGA strike. You have a unique perspective on this ongoing drama, and we thank you for sharing it. However, on behalf of the Producers Guild, I must take issue with one of your editorial choices. Not infrequently, you write of the WGA as being in negotiations with the “producers.” As you and I both know, producers are independent entrepreneurs or (in the case of line producers and other members of the producing team) crew members whose job is to get their projects made and distributed.

Definitively, the writers are neither negotiating with nor striking the producers.  The WGA’s battle is with the studios and networks—the Alliance—not with producers. It’s true, the last ‘P’ in AMPTP stands for ‘producers’.  But that designation is a vestige of a time long past, when producers and studios were effectively synonymous.

Today, producers are just like any other group of workers in this town: trying their hardest to land their next job and realize their creative and professional goals. As you have noted yourself in your writing on the strike, this struggle has been fraught with misinformation and obfuscation.  I urge you, please don’t add to that problem by mis-indentifying the very parties at the negotiating table.  It’s the writers vs. the studios, and the WGA against the Alliance. Thanks again for your coverage of the strike, and for your attention to our concerns.
Sincerely,
Vance Van Petten, Executive Director of the PGA”

So it’s official: From now on, I’ll refer to the AMPTP as “The Alliance”, or “the owners”, or “studios and networks” or perhaps just the umbrella “Big Media”…