WGA & AMPTP Talks Break Down With Strike to Continue Indefinitely

The Big Picture

  • The stalemate between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers remains unresolved, as negotiations hit a deadlock and a strike began on May 2.
  • The recent meeting between representatives from both sides did not result in any agreement, as the AMPTP stated they needed to consult with their member studios before moving forward.
  • The AMPTP expressed willingness to increase their offer on some writer-specific TV minimums and discuss AI, but they were not willing to address other key issues such as the preservation of the writers’ room and success-based residuals. The WGA negotiating committee remains committed to making a fair deal for all writers and will continue to engage in negotiations.

The stalemate between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers will continue after a stalemate between the two sides. On Friday, representatives from major studios and streamers held their first meeting with the Writers Guild of America since their negotiations hit a deadlock, resulting in a strike on May 2. However, the meeting did not yield any agreement on the pertinent issues, as reported by the WGA negotiating committee.

During the Friday afternoon meeting, representatives from both sides, including AMPTP president Carol Lombardini, AMPTP staffers, WGA West assistant executive director and chief negotiator Ellen Stutzman, and general counsel Tony Segall, convened to discuss the possibility of resuming negotiations. The union informed its members about the meeting. The topics of conversation included a « potential negotiation protocol » and an overview of the issues each party intends to address when negotiations recommence. However, as of now, no agreement has been reached on these matters because the AMPTP stated that they needed to consult with their member studios before moving forward.

Going by what the WGA negotiating committee reported back, Lombardini said in the meeting that any verbiage included in the Directors Guild of America’s deal that was seen to overlap with concerns held by writers would be what the studios and streaming services would insist on in WGA negotiations.

« “She stated they were willing to increase their offer on a few writer-specific TV minimums – and willing to talk about AI – but that they were not willing to engage on the preservation of the writers’ room, or success-based residuals. She did not indicate willingness to address screenwriter issues, Appendix A issues, and many of the other proposals that remain on our list.”

Image via WGA

The WGA negotiating committee concluded their statement by offering: « Your committee remains willing to engage with the companies and resume negotiations in good faith to make a fair deal for all writers, even with this early confirmation that the AMPTP playbook continues. But rest assured, this committee does not intend to leave anyone behind, or make merely an incremental deal to conclude this strike.”

Opening the Playbook

In a short, blunt reply, the AMPTP responded by saying it was approaching Friday’s meet as a test to check on the willingness of the WGA to bargain. « “This strike has hurt thousands of people in this industry, and we take that very seriously. Our only playbook is getting people back to work.”

The WGA is on Day 95 of its ongoing strike against AMPTP member companies. That industrial action, combined with the parallel action taken by the Screen Actors Guild members—SAG-AFTRA—has brought Hollywood productions to a halt, with major projects being pushed back and delayed by months as a result. The AMPTP is prioritizing talks with the WGA ahead of SAG-AFTRA, according to the Hollywood Reporter, as filming has ground to a halt and the studios and streamers need more completed scripts in order for actors to resume shooting.

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