Nearly four months since the WGA strike began, talks between the writers and studios are once again at a standstill.
It’s been nearly four months since the Writers Guild of America went on strike and there’s no sign that a deal will be reached anytime soon. After a week of meetings, THR reports that talks between the WGA and the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) are once again at a standstill with no further talks 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 Negotiating Committee said that they were instead “met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was.“
“We explained all the ways in which their counter’s limitations and loopholes and omissions failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place,” the WGA release continued. “We explained that a strike comes with a price and that this price is the answer to all of the problems that they have created. This wasn’t a negotiation. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not twenty minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals.”
The AMPTP counteroffer’s release was slammed by critics as a strategy to “not bargain, but to jamus“, and “to wager that we will turn against each other.“. One comedy showrunner told THR the counteroffer’s release was a “unfocused mistake“, on the part the AMPTP. “They treat us like children. Flying in CEOs will explain why this deal is good and we should take advantage of it. “Bring in mom and dad for a lecture” said the showrunner. “Anyone with experience in business dealings knows that they always try to do this to us. It’s always our agents or attorneys calling us to tell us that we are being unreasonable. It’s always a best and final and there’s never enough money until you push back and it miraculously appears.“THR’s report states that according to sources on both sides, “
there remains no timetable for when negotiations for the group representing Hollywood’s studios and streamers and the Writers Guild’s negotiating committee will return to talks.” Although the WGA says that “progress had been made” during the meeting, the AMPTP’s offer was the equivalent of “giving with one hand and taking back with the other.” With SAG-AFTRA also on strike alongside the WGA, you would think that the studios would want to make a deal as quickly as possible. The studios would have been expected to make a deal as soon as possible, given that SAG-AFTRA is also on strike.