In a release issued late Friday, the AMPTP said the situation could 'potentially have a devastating and long term impact on production in all of Canada with the exception of British Columbia.' The AMPTP represents US-based producers and is the industry's official collective bargaining representative.
The release, which is unprecedented, is a response to the strike action of the Canadian performers union ACTRA, who went off the job over concerns about compensation for new media rights as well as a wage increase.
Actors in British Columbia are represented by the Union of BC Performers and have a different independent production agreement. The AMPTP warned that the strike will force US producers to find alternatives outside of Canada, 'give the lead time necessary to scout location, set up production offices and engage the crew and cast.' For the mean time, several US production that were underway or set to go at the time the strike was called have signed interim agreements - agreements which meet ACTRA's wage-increase demands.
The release quoted Fox Broadcasting executive Dean Ferris: 'I fail to understand ACTRA's logic and feel that this is a lost opportunity by driving us out of negotiations. We're up here in an effort to create employement, and we refuse to fight ACTRA on these proposals. If they don't want us to bring work to Canada, we'll go home. No fight, no problem.'