Studios count cost of writers strike

Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:08am EST

Supporters and members of the Writers Guild of America picket outside the News Corp building in New York December 4, 2007. Hollywood studios have suggested all along that striking writers will be sadly surprised when they discover the high cost of their six-week-old strike. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Supporters and members of the Writers Guild of America picket outside the News Corp building in New York December 4, 2007. Hollywood studios have suggested all along that striking writers will be sadly surprised when they discover the high cost of their six-week-old strike.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - Hollywood studios have suggested all along that striking writers will be sadly surprised when they discover the high cost of their six-week-old strike.

Now they're actually helping them calculate that cost.

A Web site operated by the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP), the bargaining arm of the studios, now boasts a running tally -- updated by the second -- of income lost by guild members since the Writers Guild of America (WGA) launched its first strike in almost two decades.

By early Wednesday, that tally was running at almost $104 million, according to the site (www.amptp.org)

The Web site flourish was added one day after a spoof of AMPTP.org showed up as AMPTP.com, complete with phony company news releases and executive profiles.

Meanwhile, over on the labor side of the negotiating impasse, picketing continued on both coasts Tuesday.

Sign-bearing strikers walked lines at the usual studio and network locations throughout Los Angeles. And in New York, more than 200 striking writers and others rallied at the West 66th Street site of ABC daytime productions "The View" and "All My Children."

WGA East reps handed out leaflets to members of the public standing in an audience line for "The View," whose host Whoopi Goldberg sent out hot chocolate for the striking writers. Among those joining the scribes' picket line were "Desperate Housewives" actress Dana Delany, and writer-director Nora Ephron.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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