Writers and studios set to renew negotiations in bid to end strike

Hollywood sign WGA writers strike negotiations
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As the strike nears its 100th day for writers, it’s been revealed that negotiations will begin between the deadlocked parties. 

Well, here’s some good news. Deadline is reporting that as of Friday, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are looking to get back around the negotiating table.

Writers have been on strike for nearly 100 days at this point, a long time to go without your primary (or even sole) form of income, not to mention that the ongoing strike (along with the actors’ strike) has ground the industry to a halt. Still, that doesn’t seem to have dampened the writers’ drive for better pay and conditions, and huge numbers of them have been out in Hollywood each day, braving the blazing Los Angeles summertime heat to form picket lines outside the major studios.

For its part, the AMPTP has been rather quiet after choosing to end negotiations with the writers months ago. There’s been rumours that the alliance, which represents producers such as Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros and Amazon, has been beset by some internal disagreements regarding key priorities and to some degree, this is probably true. After all, more tech-based companies like Apple, Amazon and Netflix operate in different ways to more traditional media companies such as Paramount, Warner Bros and Disney, and they may well value certain aspects of a new deal more highly than others.

Talks with writers broke down over a number of key issues including basic pay, residuals, the use (or what the WGA calls ‘abuse’) of mini-rooms (rather than ‘full’ writers’ rooms), data/ratings transparency and future use of artificial intelligence. The fact that both parties will soon be back around the negotiating table signals that perhaps the AMPTP might be willing to budge a little on some of these issues – but there’s almost no chance that the WGA is going to get what it wants on all fronts.

However, in the past the WGA’s negotiating committee has proven to be pretty shrewd in recognising the future value of particular points of contention and fighting hard for them. By next week we should have some idea of how talks are progressing, so we’ll keep you posted as news unfolds.

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