We are approaching the fourth month of Writers’ Guild of America strike action that was officially implemented on May 2nd. SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA in their picketing a few months after they began. Both have stood together ever since. Since then, there have been several failed attempts to reach a new agreement between movie studios, the writers’ union and PR firms. The AMPTP even hired Levinson Group as a PR company to soften its image in public during the conflict. Deadline reports that tensions within the studios have led to a meeting today between the CEOs. Disney’s Dana Walden, Alan Bergman, Amazon Studios Mike Hopkins and Jennifer Salke’s Ted Sarandos and Warner Bros Discovery David Zaslav will all be attending the virtual meeting. There doesn’t appear to be an end to the conflict. Disney’s CEO Bob Iger is not expected to attend, as Walden & Bergman will be handling labor-related issues. Iger reportedly prefers to wait until “an appropriate moment.” The last attempt at meeting with the WGA failed because the studios’ proposals did not meet what the writers were proposing. Their proposals have been deemed “neither nothing nor nearly enough” by the WGA, and studios have experienced blowback that left both Iger and Zaslav are said to be stunned that they have been vilified.
According to Deadline, the AMPTP is waiting for the official WGA response to the August 11 offer, but the WGA insists that the other shoe is waiting to drop on the studios’ side after they made a counter-offer on August 15. Sources close to the CEO divisions have stated that
“Before, many wanted to blame Carol and accused her of being stuck with a pre-streaming strategy. They are now only responsible for the bad situation. That’s why they brought in the Levinson Group, and that’s why they are squabbling.”