WGA Leaders To Meet With AMPTP About The Strike
The WGA strike over advocacy for better working conditions for writers in Hollywood is still ongoing. Several of the leaders, along with their members, voiced their discontent at several of the studios, which include Netflix and Warner. However, it appears there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.
The leader of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, or AMPTP, called that of the WGA to set up a meeting to plan a talk between the two organizations. This would be the first formal interaction between the two since the strike began, but screenwriters say not to let their guard down or get their hopes up.
First Meeting Between WGA and AMPTP After Strike Begins
In an interview, the WGA leader stated that one of the AMPTP coordinators called him to arrange a meeting about the strike. The meeting will be held on Wednesday, August 3, 2023. The purpose of this is to plan how the negotiation tables between both organizations will be and to find a solution to the contractual situation they are facing.
He stated that although this is indeed a great step forward, there is still a long way to go to reach the desired result. He emphasized that the protest action should continue and not be filled with illusions with these first meetings, which, although important, are only organizational for the real negotiations.
AMPTP Leader John Rogers Statements
Image: John Edwards Wikipedia Commons
Another commenting on the AMPTP leader’s call to the WGA was one of the WGA’s negotiating directors, John Rogers. He indicated that it was too early to claim victory and suggested to the members on the street not to wait too long as it was only the preparation for the real fight. Rogers commented on the matter:
“It’s a meeting to discuss meeting. We’re trying to urge members to remember that this is a great first step, but not to get your hopes up too much”.
This call is the first official contact between the two organizations since the talks ended on May 1. During this time, there were several comments, with executives indicating that they would wait until the screenwriters went bankrupt and others stressing that the protest was unjustified because of the current situation in theatres.
It should also be noted that WGA leaders confirmed that they will not make counterproposals to the conditions offered by the AMPTP. These included some benefits for their audience. However, it was too little for what they deserved for their work and the profits the studios get for the productions they make.
Adam Conover Statements
Another who stated this was Adam Conover, who indicated that he is hopeful that they will actually talk about the problems presented by the showrunners. He also indicated that although it is a move forward, it is also not convenient to rush to conclusions when everything starts walking. On this, he said:
“Hopefully they’re ready to actually talk about our issues. No one’s going to celebrate until there’s something worth celebrating… Everyone’s like, ‘Movement is movement, sure, great.’ But no one’s getting ahead of themselves.”
Uncertainty About the Strike and WGA Negotiations
Several WGA members, including Alex Eldridge, protested outside Paramount Studios. The writer stated that there is no certainty about the negotiations or the real purpose of the meetings. He also indicated that it is possible that they want to smooth things over or they really want to repair the damage they caused to the guild. He said the following:
“We don’t know why they’re bringing us back to the table. Is it to address the concerns that the guild has sufficiently?. Or is it to try to put a Band-Aid on the bullet hole? We just don’t know.
Also commenting on this was JT Allen, the leader of the protests in front of Warner Studios. The union member said that they would be there all the time, that due to the previous statements and the strangeness of the meeting, they would continue to fight. Part of their pleas were:
“We’re just here for the long haul. The conversations I’ve had with people have essentially gone you know. ‘If we’re here another 100 days, we are. And if we’re not, great.”
Delayed Productions: Possible reason
One of the possible reasons for the reactivation of negotiations is the backlog of productions that are on hold. Several studios, such as Marvel, have had to reschedule the release of several of their films due to the WGA and SAG-AFTRA strike.
Despite the directors’ statements that they could wait as long as they wanted, the reality is different. Since the time they stop filming is also a loss for them, negotiation is the most economical solution for everyone.
This labor problem for the studios seems to be a long time coming, considering that they are just about to start meetings with the WGA and have had no official communication with SAG-AFTRA so far.
Featured Image Via Wikipedia Commons Jorge Mir