The writers’ strike continues as negotiations are once again deadlocked
Almost four months since the WGA strike began, negotiations between the writers and the studios have stalled again.
It has been almost four months since the Writers Guild of America went on strike and there is no sign that an agreement will be reached anytime soon. After a week of meetings, THR reports that talks between the WGA and the AMPTP (Motion Picture and Television Producers Association) are once again at a standstill and no further talks are currently scheduled.
The WGA met with Bob Iger, Donna Langley, Ted Sarandos, David Zaslav, and Carol Lombardini earlier this week with the understanding that they were finally ready to make a deal. However, the WGA Conciliation Committee stated that instead they “they met with a speech about how good their single offer and single counter was.“
“We explained all the ways their accountant limits and loopholes and omissions failed to adequately protect writers from the existential threats that led us to strike in the first place,” the WGA broadcast continued. “We told them that a strike has a price, and that price is the answer to all – and not just some – of the problems they have created in the industry. But this was not a meeting to make an agreement. This was a meeting to get us into the cave, and that is why, twenty minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released a summary of their proposals.”
The publication of the AMPTP tender was criticized as a strategy “not to negotiate us, but to play us” and “to promise that we will turn on each other.” A comedy showrunner told THR that “unfocused error” on the AMPTP side. “They treat us like children. Flying to CEOs to explain why this is good and we should take it. Bring in mum and dad to give us a speech,” said the showman. “Anyone involved in business dealings on any contract knows that this is what they try to do to us, always. There is always a call from our agents or lawyers telling us that we are being unreasonable. It is always better and final and there is not enough money so you push back and it appears wonderful.“
The THR report says, according to sources on both sides, “there is no timetable yet for when negotiations for the group representing Hollywood studios and broadcasters and the Writers Guild’s negotiating committee will return to negotiations.” Although the WGA says “progress had been made” during the meeting, the AMPTP offer was equivalent to “giving with one hand and taking back with the other.”
With SAG-AFTRA also on strike along with the WGA, you’d think the studios would want to get a deal done as soon as possible. The estimated costs of the WGA contract would be mere peanuts compared to the annual revenues of the major studios, but here we are… 115 days later with nearly every movie and TV show in Hollywood on hold .