Judge rejects legal bid in Hollywood actors feud

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Feb 5, 2009 at 6:10 PM EDT

A judge has dismissed a legal bid to reinstate the lead negotiator of Hollywood's biggest acting union, clearing the way for a resumption of contract talks with producers, officials said Thursday.

A statement from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) said a lawsuit filed by union president Alan Rosenberg seeking to recall hardline negotiator Doug Allen had been rejected on the grounds it had no chance of success.

"I'm pleased that we can put this matter behind us and dedicate our complete focus to the needs of Screen Actors Guild members. There's a lot of work ahead of us," SAG's interim National Executive Director David White said.

SAG and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) earlier this week called off a resumption of contract talks planned for Tuesday following the civil war inside the actor's group.

The talks -- which would have been the first in two months -- were scheduled after Allen was forced out last week.

Allen's departure came amid a revolt from moderate members of the actors union who have reacted angrily to the possibility of union leaders calling a potentially devastating strike in the midst of a recession.

The actors union has been in a standoff with AMPTP since a previous contract expired in June. Fresh attempts to broker a deal foundered in November.

The actors union is holding out for a greater share of royalties from sales and showings of work screened on the Internet.

The AMPTP said the actors' demands were unreasonable and has refused to improve a final offer made in June, similar to other agreements reached with writers, directors and a smaller actors' union.




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