Writers union and Hollywood to resume negotiation talks to end the strike

The talk is the first to be held following a nearly 100-day writer's strike as creatives seek improved residual payments.

3 AUG 2023

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Major Hollywood studios and negotiators representing the Writers Guild of America have agreed to schedule a meeting to discuss negotiations in an effort to halt production strikes in the entertainment business this summer,  an email from the union's negotiating committee to the union's members reveals. The meeting is the first of its kind to be held between the two parties since the Hollywood writers' strike began 2 May.

“We are ready, willing and able to return to the table at any time,” read a statement from Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, SAG-AFTRA’s chief negotiator. “We have not heard from the AMPTP since July 12 when they told us they would not be willing to continue talks for quite some [time]. The only way a strike comes to an end is through the parties talking and we urge them to return to the table so that we can get the industry back to work as soon as possible.”

The meeting requested by SAG-AFTRA union and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), is the first to be held following the 100-day strike that brought large pool of television and movie productions to a halt. Through these talks, both parties hope to reach an amicable agreement,  reaching terms that would ensure better pay and improved residual payments. The move is also made to protect all contributors of the industry when show air on streaming platforms and the loss of jobs resulting from artificial intelligence. "We'll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information," the email said. "As we've said before, be wary of rumors. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us."

According to a Reuters report, the AMPTP, tasked with representing Hollywood studios, networks and streaming services, has "pushed back" against some of the WGA's requests, such as mandatory staffing and employment guarantees on programs. The ogranization has also pushed back against WGA demands around streaming residuals, calculating the guild's offer to increase rates by 200%.

The strike has caused Late night television shows to stop airing new episodes and delays in traditional fall television slates.  It is the first to be carried out by the Writer's Guild since 2007 and 2008, which cost the California economy an estimated $2.1 billion, and the first to be collectively held by the unions since 1960, during which Ronald Regan served as President of SAG. The Writers Guild is made up of more than 11,000 writers, while SAG-AFTRA represents 160,000 actors.  SAG-AFTRA's negotiators  agree with the extension and the effort to "exhaust every opportunity to achieve the righteous contract we all demand and deserve.“We remain committed to finding a path to mutually beneficial deals with both unions,” a management group statement reads.