Writers Strike Update: WGA and AMPTP Resume Negotiations

Members of the Writers Guild of America East picket at the Warner Bros. Discovery office in New York City on July 13, 2023
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In hopeful news for the film and TV business, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) have resumed negotiations that may end one of Hollywood’s two simultaneous strikes.

On Friday, August 11, the two sides met to continue bargaining for the first time since the start of the WGA strike on May 2, and the AMPTP offered the WGA a counterproposal.

“Your Negotiating Committee received a counterproposal from the AMPTP today,” the WGA told members on Friday evening, per Deadline. “We will evaluate their offer and, after deliberation, go back to them with the WGA’s response next week.”

Talking points in the WGA strike — now more than 100 days old — include streaming residuals, pay raises, artificial intelligence use, and the practice of “mini-rooms” in lieu of full-fledged writers’ rooms.

The WGA, however, didn’t go into specifics about the current discussions at the negotiating table. “Sometimes more progress can be made in negotiations when they are conducted without a blow-by-blow description of the moves on each side and a subsequent public dissection of the meaning of the moves,” its message to members read. “That will be our approach, at least for the time being, until there is something of significance to report, or unless management uses the media or industry surrogates to try to influence the narrative.”

The guild also vowed to communicate updates about the negotiations “when we think there is news you need to know” and asked members to keep the protests going. “Please continue to demonstrate your commitment by showing up to the picket lines: for yourselves, your fellow writers, SAG-AFTRA, fellow union members, and all those in our community who are impacted by the strikes,” the message read.

Deadline reports that if the two sides reach a tentative agreement, it would still take several days for the strike to end since the agreement would have to be approved by the WGA West and WGA East’s governing bodies and ratified by members.

Meanwhile, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is four weeks into its strike against the AMPTP. “The AMPTP — the organization that bargains on behalf of the studios, networks, and streamers — refused to negotiate with us fairly, and have not contacted us to resume talks,” SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher and Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told members on Wednesday, August 9.