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Last Updated: Saturday, 8 December 2007, 04:22 GMT
Hollywood writers talks collapse
By Peter Bowes
BBC News, Los Angeles

Strikers in Burbank, CA
The strike is now in its fifth week
Talks between striking screenwriters and Hollywood producers have broken down in Los Angeles.

Now in its fifth week, the strike has closed down dozens of TV shows and delayed production on movies.

With no sign of a breakthrough in this dispute over pay, each side is suggesting the other is to blame for a lack of progress in the negotiations.

The dispute centres on how writers should be compensated for their work when it appears on DVD or the Internet.

The employers, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, blamed the breakdown on what it called an ongoing union strategy to delay or derail talks.

But in a letter sent to its members, the Writers Guild of America accused the producers group of dragging its heels in putting new proposals on the table.

The Alliance said that wasn't the case and suggested the union had failed to respond to specific proposals regarding pay for work in new media, such as the Internet.

The increasingly bitter dispute has resulted in many popular TV shows closing down production.

America's late night chat shows have been off the air since day one of the strike, which is costing the industry millions of dollars.

Other entertainment workers, such as sound engineers and makeup artists, have been laid off.

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