Writers' Guild Blasts AMPTP's New Proposal, "This Wasn't a Meeting to Make a Deal"

The WGA claim they got "a lecture" from studios during the most recent meeting.

The Writers Guild of America has released a major update regarding the ongoing writers' strike, and efforts to reach a new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. In a memo released by the WGA Negotiating Committee on Wednesday, they revealed that the most recent meeting with members of the AMPTP did not result in actual negotiations, and instead involved "a lecture about how good" the studios' counteroffer was. "A more detailed description of the state of negotiations" is reportedly on the way from the WGA committee.

"On Monday of this week, we received an invitation to meet with Bob Iger, Donna Langley, Ted Sarandos, David Zaslav and Carol Lombardini," the memo reads in part. "It was accompanied by a message that it was past time to end this strike and that the companies were finally ready to bargain for a deal. We accepted that invitation and, in good faith, met tonight, in hopes that the companies were serious about getting the industry back to work. Instead, on the 113th day of the strike – and while SAG-AFTRA is walking the picket lines by our side – we were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was. We explained all the ways in which their counter's limitations and loopholes and omissions failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place. We told them that a strike has a price, and that price is an answer to all – and not just some – of the problems they have created in the business."

"But this wasn't a meeting to make a deal," the memo continues. "This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not twenty minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals. This was the companies' plan from the beginning – not to bargain, but to jam us. It is their only strategy – to bet that we will turn on each other. Tomorrow we will send a more detailed description of the state of the negotiations. And we will see you all out on the picket lines and let the companies continue to see what labor power looks like."

When Did the WGA and AMPTP Meet?

Earlier this month, it was reported that WGA chief negotiator Ellen Stutzman and WGA West general counsel Tony Segall met with the AMPTP, but a potential deal was stalled over two key issues. According to the reporting on the meeting, the biggest issues to remain after the meeting concern episodic television, particularly minimum staffing levels and a guaranteed minimum number of weeks of employement. The AMPTP reportedly still views the WGA's proposals on those topics "non-starters."

The reporting also revealed that the SAG-AFTRA actors' strike, which began last July and further shut down most film and TV productions across the country, is further complicating the negotiations. Reportedly, Stutzman and Segall told the AMPTP that even if a deal is closed with the WGA, the writers will not start work until both strikes are resolved.

Why Are the WGA Striking?

The WGA have cited a slew of reasons for the strike, which began on May 1st and has already had a domino effect on the larger industry. The union hopes to see improvements in residuals from media streamed online, as well as additional benefits and safeguards against artificial intelligence potentially being used to write stories instead of real writers.

What do you think of the latest update regarding the WGA strike? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!