The Writers Guild told its members Friday that despite the united front that streamers and studios have shown publicly during the guild’s 130-day strike, several of the legacy companies have privately “expressed both the desire and the willingness.” have to negotiate an agreement that adequately addresses authors’ issues.”
A studio executive even told the guild that “they desperately needed a deal,” the WGA said.
“One executive said they had reviewed our proposals and, although they had not committed to a specific deal, they said our proposals would not impact their company’s bottom line and they recognized that they would have to give more than usual, to resolve these negotiations,” the guild’s negotiation said, the committee said in its latest update. “Another said they urgently needed a deal. The same executives – and others – have said they are willing to negotiate on proposals that the AMPTP has presented to the public as dealbreakers. For every single topic we ask about, at least one former studio head has told us they could accommodate us.”
While this doesn’t resolve the deadlock, further behind-the-scenes discussions could lead to a breakthrough if one of the companies decides to break away from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and negotiate a separate deal with the WGA.
Here is the Guild’s latest communiqué in full:
“We know that people are eager to hear information about the status of negotiations – and how difficult it can be to remain strong in times of silence – which is only made worse by recent attempts by companies to bypass the negotiating committee is reinforced.” confuse the narrative. What follows is an update on where we are and how we got here. We’re sharing things we haven’t shared before, including conversations with individual executives that illustrate that some of the companies already see a path to a deal, while other members of the AMPTP aren’t quite there yet.
“In the 130 days since the WGA strike began, the AMPTP has made only one proposal to the WGA, on August 11th. Since then, companies have not backed away from this proposal, although the WGA itself presented our own counter-proposal to the AMPTP on August 15th. The current standstill is not a sign of corporate power, but of AMPTP paralysis.
“The studios and streamers negotiating the AMPTP have different business models and interests, as well as different histories and relationships with unions. They are competitors in every way unless they join forces to deal with Hollywood workers. Through the AMPTP, these legacy studios and streamers are negotiating as a united front, allowing hardliners to dictate the course of action for all companies. The AMPTP purports to represent all of these diverse corporate interests, but in practice it administers a system that favors inflexibility over compromise and sacrifices the interests of individual companies in reaching an agreement. This regression to the hardest line has led to the first simultaneous strikes since 1960.
“In contrast, in one-on-one conversations with former studio executives in the weeks since the SAG-AFTRA strike, we have heard both a desire and willingness to negotiate an agreement that adequately addresses writers’ issues. One executive said they had reviewed our proposals and, although they had not committed to a specific deal, they said our proposals would not impact their company’s bottom line and that they recognized they would have to give more than usual, to resolve these negotiations. Another said they urgently needed a deal. The same executives – and others – have said they are willing to negotiate on proposals that the AMPTP has presented to the public as dealbreakers. For every single question we ask, at least one former studio executive has told us they could accommodate us.
“So while the intransigence of the AMPTP structure is hindering progress, these behind-the-scenes conversations show there is a fair deal that addresses our problems. Given the huge economic impact of the strikes on legacy companies, individual studios’ interest in a deal is not surprising. Warner Bros. confirmed this in a public financial report just this week.
“We have made it clear that we will negotiate with one or more of the major studios outside the boundaries of the AMPTP to finalize the new WGA contract. There is no obligation for companies to negotiate the AMPTP. So if the economic destabilization of their own companies isn’t enough to get one or two or three studios to either advance their own interests within the AMPTP or break away from the broken AMPTP model, maybe Wall Street will finally get them to do it it.
“Until there is a breakthrough, the companies and AMPTP will try to sow doubt and internal dissension within the guild. Keep your radar up. If companies, through proxies or the press, send messages about the unreasonableness of your guild leadership, consider those messages to be part of a malicious effort to influence negotiations, rather than objective truth.
“The companies know the truth: they have to negotiate if they want to end the strike. They may not like it – they may try to hide it – but they know it. As they wrestle with this fact and with each other, they will continue to try to make writers settle for less than we need and deserve, and to encourage us to negotiate with ourselves. But we won’t do that.
“Instead, the companies within the AMPTP that want a fair deal with authors must take control of the AMPTP process themselves or opt for a separate deal. Then a solution to the strike is within reach.
“We understand how painful this time is for everyone. We are all tired and hurt and afraid. There’s nothing wrong with saying that. Optimism about a return to negotiations was met with a sharp reminder of how difficult the process can be. We share the frustration at how long companies are extending the strike and remain committed to negotiating a fair solution as quickly as possible.
“In the meantime, as always, you can find your bargaining committee, board and council members on the picket lines. If there is something important to report, we will write again.
In solidarity, WGA Negotiating Committee
Source : deadline.com