A meeting between Writers Guild of America leaders and top showrunners has been scheduled for Thursday, TheWrap has learned. The move comes amid increased concerns about restlessness among the members of the WGA concerning the length of the ongoing strike. The financially brutal work stoppage, which began on May 2, has now gone on past four months.
As TheWrap previously reported, Kenya Barris, Noah Hawley and other A-list showrunners had been demanding answers from WGA negotiating leadership, including chief negotiator Ellen Stutzman and committee co-chairs Chris Keyser and David A. Goodman. They had concerns about whether the guild was motivated to get to a deal.
“The showrunners are quite pissed,” declared a high-level studio executive speaking to TheWrap. “They are mad at the guilds and feel that they are not responding to the studios’ offer. Now even the higher-paid members of the guild are expressing concern over the inability to end the strike.”
A previously scheduled meeting between the WGA and the showrunners was canceled on Monday, although there was discourse online as to whether the guild or the showrunners canceled the previously scheduled sitdown. There had been some concern within the industry that the guild leadership was less concerned about making a deal and more inclined to hold the line to get its first ask.
The WGA and the studios, which are represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, haven’t engaged in direct negotiation since a meeting between the committee and several studio CEOs on Aug. 22. That ended with the AMPTP publically releasing details of its potential contract. Meanwhile, the guild released a public statement last week arguing that studios should make separate deals with the WGA. The AMPTP swiftly rejected that notion.
The canceled and rescheduled meeting comes amid studios suspending overall deals with high-profile showrunners, including top-tier creators like Lorne Michaels, J.J. Abrams and Chuck Lorre.
Sharon Waxman and Jeremy Fuster contributed to this report.
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