Productive Talks Between WGA and Studios Encourage Second Day of Negotiations
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have released a joint statement announcing a second day of contract talks following positive progress on the first day of discussions, according to sources familiar with the matter.
The brief statement issued on Wednesday stated, "The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow."
Insiders revealed that the discussions between the guild and the CEOs of prominent studios, including Bob Iger from Disney and Donna Langley from NBCUniversal, were markedly more constructive than their previous meeting on August 22. The latter panel led to the AMPTP publicizing their counterproposal after the guild declined the CEOs' suggestion to accept the offer.
One source commented, "There's an even greater sense of urgency on both sides to reach a deal than August. While it will still require extensive negotiations and involvement of legal teams, having the top-level commitment to reach an agreement is paramount."
Meanwhile, outside the negotiation room, WGA members continued their demonstrations on picket lines. These included newly established picket lines outside the rehearsal venues for ABC's "Dancing With the Stars" in Los Angeles and "The View" in New York.
Concurrently, SAG-AFTRA conducted a social media Q&A session with national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland regarding the imminent strike authorization vote concerning the contract for video game voice actors. Crabtree-Ireland expressed cautious optimism when asked about the implications of a potential deal for the WGA on the actors' guild.
"If the WGA, studios, and streamers manage to agree, it would undeniably be a positive signal," he affirmed. "It would signify that the studios and streamers align with the direction we've advocated."
The WGA and AMPTP still have several critical issues to address, including compulsory staff hiring, guaranteed minimums for comedy-variety and other Appendix A TV shows produced for streaming, compensation structures for screenwriters, and residuals for streaming.