The WGA responded with the following statement: "Mr. Counter's charge is as offensive as it is untrue. To accuse the WGA of blacklisting, when it was we who suffered the most from it in the past, is simply Mr. Counter's desperate attempt to divert attention from the fact that it was he who walked out of the negotiations, and it is he who refuses every day to return to the table. The WGA has an offer on the table and is ready and willing to meet with the AMPTP any day, anywhere."
Jonathan Handel, an attorney with TroyGould who's a former WGA counsel, said Counter's analogy doesn't carry weight because the strike rules are in line with typical union behavior. "His statement is as fanciful and outdated as assuming the moon has anything to do with green cheese," Handel said.
Amid the ongoing bickering, many in Hollywood are becoming increasingly convinced it will be months before the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers hammer out a new contract.
Asked about the new Get Back in the Room blog -- designed to track strike-related job losses -- Counter responded by asserting the WGA doesn't really want to make a deal. "For true negotiations to take place, there has to be some expectation that a deal can be made, but by their past actions and their current rhetoric, that certainly doesn't appear to be the case," he said in a statement.
Counter's demanding the WGA put the strike on hold for a few days as a condition of resuming negotiations. But WGA leaders are insisting they can't return to the table until the AMPTP responds more adequately to the guild's last proposal.
"We know that we're in it for a long haul and that it's going to get tougher," said WGA member Jack Kenny while on the picket line at Paramount. "But this is our last chance to get residuals for work on the Internet. If we don't do it now, they'll never give it to us."
FOX TO AIR NEW 'FAMILY GUY' THIS SUNDAY
It looks like Fox is planning to air an original episode of "Family Guy" this Sunday -- but creator Seth MacFarlane is still hoping the net will change its mind.
"It would just be a colossal dick move if they did that," MacFarlane said Tuesday. He said the next three episodes of the show "are relatively close to completion, but they have not had a final pass."
MacFarlane conceded that the Fox network and 20th Century Fox TV, which produces the show, are "legally within their rights" to complete episodes without his sign-off.
"But they've never done anything like this before, in which they've said, ‘We're going to finish a show without you,' " MacFarlane said. "It's really going to be unfortunate and damaging to our relationship if they do it."
MacFarlane was careful not to slam his day-to-day exec contacts, i.e., 20th prexies Gary Newman and Dana Walden, and Fox entertainment chairman Peter Liguori.
"I don't think they're making the call," he said. "Those are all people who I have had close, respectful relationships with. It's hard to believe it would be coming from them."
Like numerous other hyphenates, scribe-producer is withholding his showrunner duties as a means of trying to get both sides in the labor dispute back to the bargaining table. He's also opted against supplying voices for future episodes.
Many other showrunners are having to sit by while, as one wag put it, "somebody else is diapering your baby." MacFarlane is particularly ingrained in "Family Guy," however, since in addition to writing episodes, he supplies most of the big voices on the show and drew the animation templates for the characters.