The Writers Guild of America (WGA) met yesterday with representatives of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to confidentially discuss resuming talks, but the meeting ended without a definite agreement to resume negotiations (via Deadline). After the AMPTP withdrew to “consult with their member studios,” the WGA sent an email to its members disclosing the particulars of the discussion, saying studios had leaked details of the meeting to the press.
In the Friday talk, according to WGA’s letter to its members, the AMPTP said it was willing to offer more for “a few writer-specific TV minimums,” and was willing to discuss studio AI use, but wouldn’t consider success-based residuals or preserving writers’ rooms. (Disclosure: Vox Media’s editorial team, which includes The Verge, is also unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East.)
The WGA also said in its email that the AMPTP didn’t seem willing to address several other proposals from its demands, such as establishing minimum streaming residuals. According to the letter, WGA representative Ellen Stutzman made clear to the AMPTP that “all the fundamental issues” raised by the strike must be addressed in a new contract, including health care with better funding, strikiing writers’ reinstatement, and the “right for individual WGA members to honor other unions’ picket lines.”
Even so, talks are expected to continue soon, according to “a source close to the situation” who spoke with Variety, which reported that the two sides expect to resume communications “in the coming days” once leadership from each has talked over the Friday meeting with their membership. Variety reports that the mood in the meeting room was “a little stiff,” but “not so tense that near-term negotiations are impossible.”
Hollywood writer and actor strikes mounted this year over several issues, including the use of AI by studios. Writers are increasingly concerned studios may train AI to replace them, while actors worry that studios will use generative AI to alter their performances or even synthesize them entirely.
Update August 5th, 2023, 10:38AM ET: Embedded a WGA West social media post and included a direct link to its published letter about the meeting.