While SAG-AFTRA and WGA members took to the picket lines of the Disney Studios on Tuesday, more talks resumed between writers and producers.
In an undisclosed location, actual studio executives met face-to-face with the WGA’s negotiating committee. Among them were David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discover, Robert Iger of Disney and Ted Sarandos of Netflix.
The big wigs were hoping to end the stalemate by telling the writers to end the strike and offered what they thought was a good deal and kind of their final offer.
The talk was under an agreed news blackout, so it’s unclear what exactly happened inside that meeting.
However, about 20 minutes afterward the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers sent out a press release with details of their Aug. 11 proposal to writers.
“This new package substantially improves upon the AMPTP’s prior proposals. The comprehensive package also features first-of-their-kind offers for writers, including unprecedented terms in the areas of Generative Artificial Intelligence, data transparency and minimum staffing,” the press release read.
“Our priority is to end the strike so that valued members of the creative community can return to what they do best and to end the hardships that so many people and businesses that service the industry are experiencing,” explained Carol Lombardini, president of the AMPTP. “We have come to the table with an offer that meets the priority concerns the writers have expressed. We are deeply committed to ending the strike and are hopeful that the WGA will work toward the same resolution.”
However, the writers didn’t see it that way.
“We accepted that invitation and, in good faith, met tonight, in hopes that the companies were serious about getting the industry back to work,” the WGA said in a press release. “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.”
The writers say that the studios expected them to give in.
“This wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not 20 minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals,” the statement continued. “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.”
Some writers took to social media to point out what they think the producers are trying to do with this new public strategy.
“In a desperate move, the AMPTP has released their proposals publicly,” writer David Slack posted to X, formerly Twitter. “Not only are these proposals still inadequate, they are an attempt by the bosses to divide our members, hoping we’ll start arguing with each other over which parts we can and can’t live with. Don’t fall for it.”
Another writer felt the same way.
“The AMPTP keeps forgetting we know how to write,” writer Caroline Renard posted to X. “We literally spend hours trying to figure out how to find ways of saying things. So you don’t think we can read between the lines of your offer? Subtext is kind of the job.”
So, the stalemate continues between the two sides as the writers’ strike inches towards its fourth month.