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After an eventful week in which members of the Writers Guild of America and the Motion Picture and Television Producers Alliance traded barbs after the studios’ counteroffer was published, no talks are currently set for the two sides to return to the negotiating table.
According to sources on both sides, there is no timeline yet for negotiations for the group representing Hollywood studios, streaming companies, and the Writers Guild Negotiating Committee to return to talks. Representatives of AMPTP and the WGA declined to comment on the status of negotiations.
The pause comes after AMPTP announced on Aug. 22 its first counteroffer since the studios’ initial response in May to the WGA’s original proposal just days after the strike began. The proposal’s version — which was dated Aug. 11 but was publicly sent on Tuesday — includes tailings gains and AI protections, and the WGA has criticized it as a ploy “not to compromise, but to confuse us” with the counter-proposal dubbing it “the WGA.” Not being “almost enough”.
In a note to members dated Aug. 24, the union said it responded with its own counterproposal on Aug. 15, and further negotiations took place in the days that followed. On Tuesday this week, WGA leaders met with AMPTP as well as CEOs from Disney, Netflix, NBCUniversal, Warner Bros. Discovery, with the union referring to the message it received that the August 11 proposal would be the companies’ “first ‘and only counter offer'” since the strike began in May.
Upon launching her counterproposal – which WGA members slammed as an “unforced error” – AMPTP chair Carole Lombardini said the proposal “meets the priority concerns expressed by the writers” and stressed the group’s desire to end the strike.
Notably, the WGA has not released details of its proposals since the union detailed its proposals after the strike on May 2.
Sources from the studio side said the proverbial ball is in the WGA court and Lombardini wouldn’t let the stalled talks continue for long if she didn’t hear back from the writers.
Sources said that AMPTP planned to put its offer to the WGA on August 18, but delayed doing so because the insider thought the union might accept the August 11 offer for its members. The WGA said that while the bid was progressing, it was tantamount to “giving with one hand and taking with the other” and described issuing the proposal as “a tactic in the middle of ongoing negotiations”.
The barbs from both sides began hours after members of Disney’s various unions gathered for a National Solidarity Day organized by SAG-AFTRA that saw thousands block the streets near Walt Disney Studios in Burbank. The gathering featured speakers from the WGA, SAG-AFTRA, Teamsters, Directors Guild of America, and other unions.
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