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Los Angeles, August 2 The WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that have taken Hollywood by storm and frozen most of it, have finally agreed to a date for negotiations with studios and streamers–August 4.
While the negotiations do not include members of the SAG-AFTRA as such, the negotiations will focus on the demands of the WGA, where many writers walked out and began striking due to abuse of power by studios, low pay, as well as overuse of AI by studios and streamers to pen scripts in order to cut on both time and costs.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), through Carol Lombardini, reached out to the WGA and requested a meeting this Friday to discuss negotiations. We’ll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information. As we’ve said before, be wary of rumors. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us”, the WGA negotiating committee said in a statement to the members.
“We remain committed to finding a path to mutually beneficial deals with both unions,” referring to both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA, which has also gone on strike. It’s the first step in what may be a long process to finally bring all concerned parties on the same page.
The meeting will be the first official contact between negotiators from the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers, representing the studios and streamers, since contract talks broke down on May 2, leading to the writers’ now nearly three-month long strike.
Hopes that the meeting will lead to a resumption of negotiations will, however, be tempered by the fact that the parties appeared to be far apart on many issues before the strike began.
A WGA statement at the time said that the AMPTP had rejected their proposals and refused to make counter offers regarding issues such as size of writer’s rooms and viewer-based streaming residuals.
In response, the WGA had decided to block all projects that were associated with the AMPTP, leading to a massive freezing of Hollywood and massive loss in finances due to both the Covid-19 damage as well as the loss that both theatres and producers were facing due to the massive delays in production and release dates.
The debates regarding AI however are a much more difficult topic to handle. Regarding that issue, AMPTP officials said that this issue requires a lot more discussion, which they are committed to doing and resolving.
The officials said, “While the group called the minimum staffing proposal a hiring quota that is incompatible with the creative nature of our industry.” It also pushed back on the WGA’s claims that Hollywood companies have “created a gig economy inside a union workforce.”
It is unknown how this negotiation will impact the actors striking as part of the SAG-AFTRA union, though concerns regarding AI abuse and lower pays have also concerned them greatly, but since they aren’t a part of the negotiations, it is hard to determine what will transpire in the near future.