Since early May, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has been striking for better pay and protections against AI (among other conditions). Over the months, support for the union has persisted across various avenues, and grown as SAG-AFTRA has also joined in on the strike efforts. Though last weekend saw botched negotiations between the WGA and Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP), it appears that this more recent series of talks went better.
The WGA and AMPTP entered another round of discussions on Friday, August 11, and the former said it’s currently evaluating the offer presented. While the details of that offer weren’t disclosed, the WGA said that it’s presently deliberating and hopes to deliver a response by next week. In its letter sent out to WGA members, the negotiating committee, led by WGA West’s Ellen Stutzman, said the parties would try for better discretion about the current offer’s details. It’s important to note since the AMPTP infamously demanded the WGA keep quiet about its talks last weekend, but this radio silence appears to presently be agreed upon by both parties.
“The Guild always has the right to communicate with our members,” the letter reads, ”and will do so when we think there is news you need to know. More progress can be made in negotiations when they are conducted without a blow-by-blow description of the moves on each side and a subsequent public dissection of the meaning of the moves. That will be our approach, at least for the time being, until there is something of significance to report, or unless management uses the media or industry surrogates to try to influence the narrative.”
Last weekend, the AMPTP notably demanded the WGA keep quiet about its talks, but this radio silence appears to presently be agreed upon by both parties. Shortly after, the WGA claimed the AMPTP was trying to give it a deal similar to one the Directors Guild got, which itself has been considered bad in part because it was made after the Writers Strike started. The WGA further alleged at the time that the AMPTP wasn’t willing to cede any ground on the union’s topics of writers’ rooms and success-based residuals, owing to the strife.
However, sources speaking to the Hollywood Reporter claim the newest discussions centered around those two topics and AI. Reportedly, studios were previously only willing to talk about the latter, but things have apparently gotten to the point where all three issues are on the table as far as the AMPTP and its leader Carol Lombardini is concerned. Whatever offer has been made and presently under evaluation right now likely means the AMPTP is trying to appease the writers on those three fronts. What exactly that offer is will eventually come out, regardless of the answer the WGA gives.
But until that response, the negotiating committee has called on members to continue its strike efforts. “Demonstrate your commitment by showing up to the picket lines: for yourselves, your fellow writers, SAG-AFTRA, fellow union members, and all those in our community who are impacted by the strikes.”
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