The meeting held on Friday 4 August between representatives of the Hollywood studios association (AMPTP) and the screenwriters union (WGA) seems to have made no progress. A much anticipated attempt to restart negotiations but which according to the WGA negotiating committee – quoted by Hollywood Reporters – yielded “no deal”. The face-to-face meeting was the first since thousands of authors folded their arms over three months ago to demand more protection for working conditions, greater copyright transparency, a minimum number of screenwriters charged with overseeing their scripts for television series, a guaranteed minimum of work for ten weeks during the development phase of a series and three more per episode once the program has received the green light and, last but not least, protection from the possible threat of ‘artificial intelligence.
According to reports Hollywood Reporters, the WGA told its members that a “potential negotiating protocol” and “a preview of the issues each side intends to bring back to the table” were discussed during the meeting. But “at the moment, there is no agreement on these points, because the AMPTP said it should consult its member studios before moving forward.” The WGA – reports variety – during the face-to-face he clarified that he does not intend to give up the minimum number of writers or the guaranteed work weeks, and likewise the AMPTP would not be willing to change its position on the matter.
The crux of the actors’ strike
Another point of confrontation, they report Hollywood Reporters And variety, it would be the strike of the SAG-AFTRA union, or that of the actors. WGA representatives during the meeting with the producers explained that even if a deal is reached, the writers would still continue to honor the SAG-AFTRA pickets should they continue. A position that would have greatly annoyed the AMPTP, which considers it a further request in addition to those already on the table.
The strike of the screenwriters, to which was added in mid-July that of the actors, has in fact paralyzed the activities of Hollywood with very heavy economic damage. It is the first time since 1960 that both categories abstain from work at the same time and until a few days ago the most plausible scenario was that of a hand extended by the majors to the actors, historically less intransigent in their requests. It was speeches by SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher against studio bosses that convinced some producers that the writers would be more open to compromise.