Pacific Press/Lightrocket via G
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said Friday night that the studios were aligned, and pushed the Writers Guild of America to respond to its latest offer.
The AMPTP responded to the WGA’s earlier call for one or more member organizations to break away from the alliance and enter into a separate agreement. The WGA suggested that some legacy studios might be willing to accommodate writers’ requests.
“AMPTP member companies have aligned and are negotiating together to reach a solution,” the studio team said. “Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
The WGA strike has been going on for 130 days and the two sides have not met in the negotiating room for three weeks. Each side said the other should respond.
Friday night’s verbal spat between workers and management came after a tense week in Hollywood following the Labor Day holiday. The end of summer is seen by many as a psychological milestone wrapped up in the strike and its ripple effects.
There is a palpable sense of urgency among the hundreds of presenters and writer-producers who communicate incessantly through WhatsApp and other private channels. No doubt WGA leaders — particularly negotiating committee co-chairs Chris Keyser and David Goodman — fielded inquiries from members seeking insight into the status of contract negotiations. Sources familiar with the outreach insist there are no ultimatums or threats to break the impressive unity that WGA West and WGA East have marshaled since the strike began on May 2. This week on the calendar and I realize that the window to complete this year’s complex negotiations is shrinking as the fall and winter holidays approach.
Meanwhile, leaders and executives at AMPTP member companies are feeling more pressure as long-term plans for the 2023 and 2024 rollout program are disrupted. Executives reconvene this week after a last-gasp summer hiatus that will kill all shots at remaking any TV series or movies before the end of the year. On Friday, industry talk escalated over the possibility of a major Hollywood player breaking away from the AMPTP and striking a separate deal with the WGA.
The WGA said in its statement earlier in the day that AMPTP had refused to withdraw from its August 11 offer. The AMPTP said the guild is yet to respond to many issues and that the guild is “rooted” in the demand for mandatory minimum staffing in TV shows.
“The WGA has made significant gains for its members during this negotiation process and has the power to move these negotiations forward by responding to recent offers on AMPTP’s key issues,” the Studio Alliance said.
The AMPTP also set out a detailed timeline for the negotiations. In a final filing, Aug. 18, the WGA said it would respond next week, but has yet to do so.
On August 22, top Guild leaders met with four top studio heads: Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslau and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley. The Guild later described the meeting as a two-hour “lecture” urging them to accept the offer on the table.
Here is AMPTP’s full report:
AMPTP member companies are aligned and negotiating together to reach a resolution. Any suggestion to the contrary is incorrect.
Every member company of AMPTP wants a fair deal for writers and actors and an end to the strikes, which affect not only our writer and actor colleagues, but thousands of people across the industry.
That’s why the AMPTP has repeatedly presented offers that address the WGA’s key priorities, including the last round of offers on August 17 and 18. [See below] On many issues, AI among them, we are close. Our AI proposal has provided clear guarantees that the use of AI will not affect writers’ remuneration, credit or split rights. We have asked the WGA to identify remaining loopholes in the AI offer, and it has not responded.
On the important topic of compulsory staffing, the WGA has stood by its original position except for a slight change in its stand on the appointment of staff in development rooms.
The WGA has achieved significant gains for its members during this negotiation process and has the authority to move these negotiations forward by responding to recent offers on AMPTP’s key issues.
AMPTP, including all its member organizations, is keen to reach a resolution.
Chronology of proposals
April 14, 2023: AMPTP submits its detailed package proposal, a 31-page document, to the WGA.
April 26, 2023: AMPTP delivered its revised Comprehensive Package Proposal, a 40-page document, to the WGA.
April 30, 2023: AMPTP delivers its second revised comprehensive package proposal to the WGA, a 41-page document that outlines all the items in the negotiations.
August 11, 2023: AMPTP submits its third revised comprehensive package proposal to the WGA, a 69-page document that outlines all items in the negotiations.
August 15, 2023: The WGA responded with a 4-page document with limited moves in a few areas.
August 16, 2023: WGA issues details of its revised written proposal on AI
August 17, 2023: AMPTP presented a revised AI counterproposal to the WGA that focused on key concerns expressed by the WGA during the previous day’s discussion.
August 18, 2023: AMPTP offers further compromises to WGA’s August 15 response. The WGA said it would respond next week. Haven’t heard from the AMPTP guild since that time.