The Writers Guild of America responded late Tuesday after the studios released their August 11 proposal package earlier this evening. She told members the offer “didn’t adequately protect the writers,” and accused Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers members of leading an attempt “not to negotiate, but to obstruct us.”
“On Monday this week we received an invitation to meet with Bob Iger, Donna Langley, Ted Sarandos, David Zaslav and Carol Lombardini. With that came the message that it was high time to end this strike and that the companies were finally ready to negotiate a deal. We accepted that invitation and met tonight in good faith in the hope that companies are serious about getting the industry back to work. Instead, on the 113th day of the strike – and while SAG-AFTRA walks the picket lines alongside us – we were given a lecture on how good their only counter-offer was,” the guild told members just before midnight.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers released the Aug. 11 package of proposals it offered to the writers on Tuesday, the same evening several company CEOs met with union leaders. In a rare statement, AMPTP President Carol Lombardini said that the package — These included offerings on generative AI, data sharing and residuals — “Meets the overriding concerns expressed by the authors,” saying that the AMPTP is “deeply committed to ending the strike and hopes the WGA will work toward the same resolution.”
The WGA informed members that it “explained all the ways in which its desk’s limitations, loopholes, and omissions have failed to adequately protect writers from the existential threats that prompted us to strike in the first place.” We told them that a strike comes at a price and that that price is a response to all – and not just some – of the problems they have caused at the company. But this was not a meeting to negotiate a deal. This was a meeting to get us to give way, which is why the AMPTP released their summary of their proposals less than 20 minutes after we left the meeting. That was the companies’ plan from the start – not to negotiate, but to block us. It’s their only strategy – betting on us attacking each other.”
The guild said it would release a more detailed description of the state of play on Wednesday.
Several proposals from the AMPTP that address the core issues of the WGA — including the minimum staffing and duration of the authors’ rooms, the AI and data transparency did not meet the wishes of the union — rather, it offered new ideas that were obviously intended to serve as a sort of compromise between the working class and the corporations.
After the writers’ strike lasted over 100 days, the WGA and AMPTP finally returned to the negotiating table for formal negotiations on August 11, when management presented this offer. Since then, the parties have been in talks and exchanging proposals, with the studios handing their latest offer to the WGA on Friday, August 18th. According to a studio source, the next step now lies with the WGA.
While the writers and management held renewed talks, the Hollywood cast members’ SAG-AFTRA continued to strike. Although their priorities differ, SAG-AFTRA and the WGA have some overlap in the areas in which they seek gains in this bargaining cycle, including AI and compensation that rewards the success of projects on streaming platforms.