WGA & AMPTP set for talks next week as US writers strike nears fifth month

CC: Vincentas Liskauskas (Unsplash)

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are set to resume talks next week, as the ongoing dispute nears its fifth month.

The AMPTP confirmed it had “reached out” to the WGA to ask for a meeting “to move negotiations forward.”

The note continued: “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 WGA told its members that it was “in the process of scheduling a time to get back in the room” with the producers union, which represents companies including NBCUniversal, Warner Bros. Discovery, Netflix, Amazon and Apple.

Background & context

The news comes almost a month since the WGA described the AMPTP’s counter offer in August as “neither nothing, nor nearly enough”.

It also comes amid US reports that studio bosses are getting increasingly frustrated with the delays, with both Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos and Disney chief Bob Iger taking a more direct interest in the dispute.

The AMPTP revealed its latest offer – first put forward on 11 August but only made public a week later – to the WGA, with the studio and streamer union president Carol Lombardini describing the “comprehensive package” as meeting “the priority concerns” of writers.

However, the WGA said that the overall package “failed to sufficiently protect writers” and required further discussion.

The WGA has been on strike since 2 May, with actor’s union SAG-AFTRA also halting work, bringing Hollywood productions to a standstill.

Companies including Severance producer Fifth Season is among firms to reveal it is cutting around 12% of its workforce, blaming the downsizing on the impasse between producers and the US writers and actor unions.

Disney yesterday joined NBCUniversal and CBS Studios in suspending overall and first-look deals too, following news last week that Warner Bros. Discovery’s TV division had suspended overall pacts with talent including Greg Berlanti and JJ Abrams.

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