The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Writers Guild of America (WGA) are set to extend their negotiations into the weekend as they strive to bring an end to a nearly five-month-long writers strike. The latest development comes after four consecutive days of intense discussions aimed at securing a new three-year contract.
- Donny Deutsch Slams Hollywood Silence Amid Israel-Hamas War on MSNBC: ‘This Is About the Slaughtering of Jews’
- Katherine Heigl Details Major Neck Surgery: ‘I Am Now Bionic’
- Vanna White Extends ‘Wheel of Fortune’ Contract Through 2025-26 Season
- Kevin Spacey Defends Coming Out as Gay After Being Accused of Sexual Misconduct: ‘I Was Under a Lot of Pressure’
- Nexstar Stations Return to DirecTV Lineup Amid Progress in Contract Negotiations
On Saturday, industry sources revealed that a ‘best and final’ offer had been presented to the WGA negotiators around 5 p.m. PT. Legal representatives from both labor and management convened in person at the AMPTP headquarters, while other key stakeholders monitored the situation closely from a distance.
A joint statement was issued shortly before 8 p.m. PT by the WGA and AMPTP, announcing their plans to meet again on Sunday. This “last, best and final offer” from the AMPTP is a customary step in collective bargaining negotiations and signals that the companies are unlikely to make significant further concessions on the contract’s terms. The WGA is expected to respond on Sunday, suggesting that a time limit may have been set for a reply. However, some speculate that the joint statement was an attempt to defuse tensions.
Throughout the negotiations, the WGA has been pushing for substantial improvements in compensation and benefits. The extended strike has exerted considerable pressure on the studios to address the guild’s major priorities in what both sides anticipated would be a challenging contract cycle.
Saturday’s negotiations primarily focused on refining the precise language and details of complex and cutting-edge contract issues. One of the last hurdles to overcome appears to be the specifics of the terms related to the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and other innovative elements within the WGA’s minimum basic agreement.
“It’s mainly down to language now,” noted an industry insider earlier on Saturday.
This week saw a significant breakthrough in negotiations with the involvement of top executives from major entertainment companies, including Disney’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley. Their participation in marathon negotiations played a pivotal role in breaking the months-long deadlock, even though they were not present at the table on Saturday.
Insiders familiar with the situation noted that the approach of the Yom Kippur holiday on Sunday evening served as an unofficial deadline target, given the substantial progress achieved earlier in the week.
As of now, representatives for both the AMPTP and WGA have not provided official comments on the ongoing negotiations. The WGA strike, which commenced on May 2, has had a significant impact on the entertainment industry. Once a deal is reached with the WGA, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is poised to return to the negotiating table, aiming to end their industry-wide strike that began on July 14.