16 April 2024

Writers Strike: Studios & WGA Agree to Resume Talks This Week

4 min read

Summary

  • Negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP are set to resume.
  • The strike has severely impacted Hollywood, shutting down productions and costing the industry millions.
  • While talks are a positive step forward, there is still caution that a deal may not be reached.


After weeks and now months of uncertainty across Hollywood as writers and actors alike continue to picket for fair wages and better working conditions, it seems as if there may be a faint glimmer of hope for resolution. According to a report from Deadline, there is now an announcement from the WGA that negotiations between the Writer’s Guild and the AMPTP are set to finally resume this coming Friday to discuss a possible solution to help end at least one of the strikes that has crippled the industry.

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It was back on May 2 when the writers of Hollywood put down their pens and hit the picket lines after failing to come to a justified agreement with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) about improving working conditions across the industry, and finally setting fair wages for those who serve as the backbone of film and television. The WGA (Writer’s Guild of America) have protested outside production lots across the country for weeks, and soon enough the acting community of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actor’s Guild) resolved to join in solidarity after talks on their end with studios failed as well.

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The movement has all but shut down Hollywood entirely, from red carpets to active shoots, leaving numerous projects in limbo and/or pushed back altogether indefinitely, and of course costing the industry millions. The reaction from studio execs, particularly Disney’s Bob Iger, has been nothing short of tone-deaf and callous, with vows to starve writers out of their own homes before agreeing to any demands.

It was also leaked that huge production companies have been considering using AI to effectively “steal” and catalog an actor’s likeness, allowing them to use it forever without need for an actual paid actor on set. Along with a still-unstable economy, those revelations have only added fodder to the fire that has motivated tens of thousands of writers and actors to push for change that has evidently been long overdue. With the ball still in the court of the AMPTP, it remains to be seen how long the industry-wide strike will last.

Related: 10 Actors Who Have Been Extremely Supportive of the WGA Strike


The WGA Explains Plans For Talks

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The New York Times

The WGA’s negotiating committee has shared an official note with its guild members today, which indicated that after back-and-forth between legal teams for both sides, the AMPTP has reached out to resume talks with at least one of the unions as of this coming Friday.

“The AMPTP, through Carol Lombardini, reached out to the WGA today and requested a meeting this Friday to discuss negotiations…We’ll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information. As we’ve said before, be wary of rumors. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us,”

While it’s definitely a step in a positive direction, there is still urge for caution that a deal of some kind may still not be reached on Friday. Given the stubborn blowback from studio execs thus far, it’s likely that these initial negotiations will be tense at the very least, and could very well end in another stalemate that will see the strike continue on. Nonetheless, it’s definitely progress, as there has been nothing but silence for SAG-AFTRA so far. Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, who is the National Executive Director and Chief Negotiator for SAG, remarked that they’ve only gotten “crickets” from AMPTP since their end of the strike began.

“As we’ve stated publicly and privately every day since July 12, we are ready, willing and able to return to the table at any time…The only way a strike comes to an end is through the parties talking and we urge them to return to the table so that we can get the industry back to work as soon as possible…We have financially prepared ourselves for the next six months. And we’re really in it to win it.”

We await further updates with bated breath.