TOLDJA! So the story I broke Friday night about the Writers Guild making that “independent agreement” with Tom Cruise’s and Paula Wagner’s United Artists was officially announced today. How interesting that UA and the WGA both took great care to make clear that “the agreement is unique to United Artists Films and does not involve Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), a shareholder of United Artists Entertainment.” No doubt that’s because of what I’ve already reported: that the Hollywood moguls are furious at MGM Chairman Harry Sloan for allowing this UA side deal to be negotiated since it goes against the wishes of the AMPTP.
Here’s the official United Artists and WGA announcement:
LOS ANGELES – January 7, 2008: The Writers Guild of America and legendary United Artists Films have reached a mutually beneficial independent agreement. While the details are not being disclosed in this announcement, the comprehensive agreement addresses the issues important to writers, including New Media.
As a result of this agreement, Writers Guild members will be able to work with United Artists while the strike against other companies continues.
The agreement is unique to United Artists Films and does not involve Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), a shareholder of United Artists Entertainment.
“United Artists has lived up to its name. UA and the Writers Guild came together and negotiated seriously. The end result is that we have a deal that will put people back to work,” said Patric M. Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America, West.
“This agreement is important, unique, and makes good business sense for United Artists. In keeping with the philosophy of its original founders, artists who sought to create a studio in which artists and their creative visions could flourish, we are pleased to have reached an agreement with the WGA,” said UA co-owner and CEO Paula Wagner.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) had this to say today:
One-off deals do nothing to bring the WGA closer to a permanent solution for
working writers. These interim agreements are sideshows and mean only that some writers will be employed at the same time other writers will be picketing. In the end, until the people in charge at WGA decide to focus on the main event rather than these sideshows, the economic harm being caused by the strike will continue.