UPDATED with WGA statement: The writers and the studios are set to get back around the negotiating table.
The AMPTP revealed Thursday that the two parties are “working to schedule a meeting next week.”
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“On Wednesday, September 13, the WGA reached out to the AMPTP and asked for a meeting to move negotiations forward. We have agreed and are working to schedule a meeting next week. Every member company of the AMPTP is committed and eager to reach a fair deal, and to working together with the WGA to end the strike,” the studio alliance said this afternoon.
No longer afterward, the scribes offered their own no-frills statement on further bargaining. “The WGA and AMPTP are in the process of scheduling a time to get back in the room,” said a self-titled “Negotiations Update” email sent out to members from the Ellen Stutzman, David Goodman and Chris Keyser-led negotiating committee.
With the WGA continually expressing a desire over the past four months for substantial talks with the AMPTP, this latest attempt at getting negotiations back on track comes amid tales of internal friction among the top studio and streamer CEOs. It also comes a day after SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher at a solidarity rally tore into the “greedy” bosses and their recently hired crisis PR firm the Levinson Group — words that landed hard in the C-suites, we hear.
It’s a positive step after last week’s exchanged words; the WGA told its members last week that despite the united front the streamers and studios have shown in public during the guild’s 136-day strike, several of the legacy companies have privately expressed “both the desire and willingness to negotiate an agreement that adequately addresses writers’ issues.”
Meanwhile, the AMPTP on September 8 said that the companies, which includes streamers such as Netflix, Amazon and Apple and legacy studios such as NBCUniversal, Disney, Paramount and Sony are “aligned and are negotiating together to reach a resolution. Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
The WGA has been on strike since May 2. On August 11, there was an initial counter offer from the AMPTP and the WGA offered counterproposals on August 15. On August 22, after a suddenly called tense meeting by CEOs with WGA brass, the AMPTP released details of that offer in an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to go around guild leadership to members.
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