WGA and AMPTP Return to the Bargaining Table

The striking Writers Guild of America (WGA) resumed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) today. The two entities are set return to the bargaining table tomorrow.

“The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow,” the two organizations confirmed in a rare joint statement. According to Variety, the Wednesday talks took place in Sherman Okay and concluded by the late afternoon. In a change of pace, numerous top CEOs represented by the AMPTP — including Disney‘s Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery‘s David Zaslav, Netflix‘s Ted Sarandos, and NBCUniversal‘s Donna Langley — were present for the negotiations. The CEOs are expect to return for the Thursday session.

An anonymous source familiar with the negotiations says the WGA spent much of the Wednesday session listening to the AMPTP’s new proposals. The WGA is expected to respond to the studios’ latest offers on Thursday. While things are still playing out, the aforementioned source described today’s negotiations as “encouraging.”

The studio CEOs previously decided to leave bargaining with the WGA to the AMPTP’s professional negotiators. However, they have gotten more involved as the strike has persisted. The CEOs previously met with the WGA’s leadership in August. However, the WGA described that partcicular meeting as little more than a “lecture.”

The 2023 WGA strike hits the 142-day mark

The WGA has been on strike since May 2, 2023. At the time of writing, the strike has lasted 142 days. As such, it has already surpassed the 2007-2008 WGA strike (which lasted 99 days) to become the union’s longest labor stoppage since 1988. The 1988 WGA strike lasted 153 days, narrowly surpassing the 148-day WGA strike of 1960.

With respect to the ongoing 2023 strike, the WGA is seeking — among other things — better streaming residuals and safeguards against the use of artificial intelligence. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) has similar goals, and has been striking alongside the WGA since July 14. This is the first time Hollywood’s actors and writers have been striking simultaneously since 1960.