WGA No Closer to Deal as Strike Reaches 100 Days

WGA No Closer to Deal as Strike Reaches 100 Days

By Movieguide® Contributor

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) voiced their concerns after the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) attempted to resume negotiations last Friday.

“So many insulting and out-of-touch things were said in that meeting,” wrote WGA member Dan Signer. “Putting aside the supposedly complex issues…When it comes to ‘pattern’ issues, suggesting that we would take the same terms the [Directors Guild of America (DGA)] inexplicably took while we’re on a strike in its 4th month is preposterous.”

The AMPTP is using the deal that the DGA agreed to earlier as a template for overlapping issues, such as pay increases. Many writer-specific issues, however, have yet to come close to a resolution. While the most recent deal expressed a willingness to increase TV minimums, it failed to address key issues like the minimum size of writers’ rooms or success-based residuals.

While the AMPTP seems to want to make only small changes to punch through a deal, as it did with the DGA, the WGA has made it clear they will not return to work until multiple industry-level changes have been agreed upon.

“Rest assured, this committee does not intend to leave anyone behind, or make merely an incremental deal to conclude this strike,” a WGA strike update said.

“Starting to get the feeling that the AMPTP negotiators are not used to being told ‘no,’ not realizing that writers and actors are told no seven times a day before breakfast,” WGA Board candidate Rob Forman tweeted.

Nearing the 100th day on strike, WGA picketers have found new strength from their leadership’s response to yet another underwhelming offer. The WGA’s commitment to having “no segment of the membership [left behind]” has been a rallying cry.

“That email from the WGA negotiating committee is just the spinach we all need,” wrote Steven DeKnight.

“The studios really saw this happen today and thought they had the upper had lol,” Eric Haywood said, referencing a massive turnout from the Screen Actors Guild that stopped traffic around Universal.

The WGA negotiators are also working to ensure support for actors, should the writers complete negotiations before them, as well as compensation from studios for the writers’ time on strike.

“We will need to address issues arising from the strike, including a health care benefit extension and additional plan funding, reinstatement of striking writers, and arbitration of disputes arising during the strike,” the WGA update read. “We will also seek the right for individual WGA members to honor other unions’ picket lines as they have honored ours during this strike.”

Movieguide® previously reported on the ongoing strikes:

“We wanted to avert a strike, if at all possible,” Drescher told Variety. “Most [of our] members are working class. So the impact of a strike did weigh heavy on me and the negotiating committee, that a strike would have a profound impact on them, but they did give us unprecedented support to strike if we felt like we needed it.”

“Remember, Tom Cruise and top people make their own deal. That’s not who we are striking for. We’re striking for the journeyman,” she later added.

Early in the negotiation, Drescher was optimistic that a deal would be able to be made without needing a strike; however, looking back she believes the studios never seriously considered the change in industry standards that SAG is demanding as they look to change their contracts to reflect the shift from traditional television and movies to on-demand streaming services.

“We can’t just make incremental changes because what things are gonna give us more?” she said. “They’re gonna raise the cap, some residuals, how much are they going to raise the minimum? Again, at the end of the day, we’re moving furniture around on the Titanic.”

Quality: - Content: +1
Quality: - Content: +2