The Writers Guild of America clapped back late Tuesday after the studios released its Aug. 11 proposals package earlier in the evening, telling members that the offer “failed to sufficiently protect writers” and accused members of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers of leading an effort “not to bargain, but to jam us.”
“On Monday of this week, we received an invitation to meet with Bob Iger, Donna Langley, Ted Sarandos, David Zaslav, and Carol Lombardini. It was accompanied by a message that it was past time to end this strike and that the companies were finally ready to bargain a deal. We accepted that invitation and, in good faith, met tonight, in hopes that the companies were serious about getting the industry back to work. Instead, on the 113th day of the strike — and while SAG-AFTRA is walking the picket lines by our side — we were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was,” the guild told members just before midnight.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers released the Aug. 11 proposal package it offered to the writers on Tuesday, the same night that several companies’ CEOs met with union leadership. In a rare statement, AMPTP president Carol Lombardini said that the package — which included offers on generative A.I., data sharing and residuals — “meets the priority concerns the writers have expressed” and said that the AMPTP is “deeply committed to ending the strike and are hopeful that the WGA will work toward the same resolution.”
The WGA told members that it “explained all the ways in which their counter’s limitations and loopholes and omissions failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place. We told them that a strike has a price, and that price is an answer to all — and not just some — of the problems they have created in the business. But this wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not 20 minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals. This was the companies’ plan from the beginning – not to bargain, but to jam us. It is their only strategy — to bet that we will turn on each other.”
The guild said it will release a more detailed description of the state of the negotiations on Wednesday.
Several of the proposals from the AMPTP that addressed the WGA’s core issues — including on minimum writers’ room staffing and duration, on A.I. and data transparency did not accede to the union’s wishes — but rather offered new ideas that clearly sought to serve as a kind of compromise between the labor group and the companies.
After the writers’ strike lasted over 100 days, the WGA and the AMPTP finally returned to the bargaining table for formal negotiations on August 11, when management presented this offer. The parties have been in talks and exchanging proposals ever since, with the studios handing the WGA its latest offer on Friday, Aug. 18. According to a studio-side source, the next move is now up to the WGA.
As the writers and management have been engaged in renewed talks, meanwhile, Hollywood performers’ SAG-AFTRA has remained out on strike. Though their priorities are different, SAG-AFTRA and the WGA do have some overlap in terms of areas where they’re seeking gains this negotiations cycle, including in A.I. and compensation that rewards projects’ success on streaming platforms.