The Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced in a joint statement that they will meet again for a second day of contract talks on Thursday after the first day of discussions led to some “good signs,” according to two individuals with knowledge of the talks.
“The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow,” read the one-sentence joint statement issued Wednesday.
One of the individuals told TheWrap that discussions between the guild and studio CEOs who were present at the meeting, including Disney’s Bob Iger and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, were “a lot better” than their terse meeting on Aug. 22, which led to the AMPTP publicly releasing their counterproposal after the guild rebuffed the CEOs urging to take that offer.
“I think there’s even more urgency by the two sides to get a deal done than there was in August,” one insider said. “It’s still going to take many, many days of talks between the negotiators and all the labor lawyers to get this done. But having the people at the top serious about doing whatever it takes to get a deal is the most important thing.”
Outside the negotiating room, WGA members continued marching on the picket lines, including newly formed ones outside the rehearsal spaces for ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” in Los Angeles and “The View” in New York.
SAG-AFTRA, meanwhile, held a social media Q&A with national executive director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland about the upcoming strike authorization vote on its contract for video game voice actors. When asked about what a deal for the WGA would mean for the actors guild, Crabtree-Ireland said it would be a reason for cautious optimism.
“It would certainly be a good sign if the WGA and the studios and streamers are able to reach a deal,” he said. “It will mean that the studios and streamers have made moves in the same direction that we are looking for them to make moves.”
The WGA and AMPTP still have several key issues that must be resolved, including mandatory staff hiring, guaranteed minimums for comedy-variety and other Appendix A TV shows made for streaming, pay structures for screenwriters, and residuals for streaming.
For all of TheWrap’s WGA strike coverage, read here.