In a memo to members released to the media late Tuesday night, the Writers Guild of America accused Hollywood studios of not negotiating in good faith, and urged members to continue striking after studios released the details of their latest offer to the public.
According to the memo, WGA negotiators met on Tuesday with Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix boss Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley, and AMPTP President Carol Lombardini.
“We accepted that invitation and, in good faith, met tonight, in hopes that the companies were serious about getting the industry back to work,” WGA said.
“Instead, on the 113th day of the strike, we were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was,” the memo continued. The meeting subsequently ended without a new deal, and according to WGA, the studios’ proposal was sent to the press about 20 minutes later.
The WGA said the release was designed to cause strife within the guild. “This was the companies’ plan from the beginning – not to bargain, but to jam us. It is their only strategy – to bet that we will turn on each other,” the group said.
The proposal, originally presented to the WGA on Aug. 11, showed some notable changes from AMPTP’s offers and positions on some key issues. The offer included some small concessions around hiring and larger concessions on the issues of AI and sharing of viewership data. But it didn’t address one of the single biggest issues that led the writers guild to declare a strike — staffing and job security, particularly for newer members.
The WGA said it reiterated its problems with that offer during Tuesday’s meeting. “But this wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave,” the memo said.
Guild leaders promised members a more detailed explanation of the state of negotiations would come on Wednesday. “And we will see you all out on the picket lines so that the companies continue to see what labor power looks like,” the statement concluded.
Read the WGA’s full memo below:
After 102 days of being on strike and of AMPTP silence, the companies began to bargain with us on August 11th, presenting us for the first time with a counteroffer.
We responded to their counter at the beginning of last week and engaged in further discussions throughout the week.
On Monday of this week, we received an invitation to meet with Bob Iger, Donna Langley, Ted Sarandos, David Zaslav, and Carol Lombardini. It was accompanied by a message that it was past time to end this strike and that the companies were finally ready to bargain a deal.
We accepted that invitation and, in good faith, met tonight, in hopes that the companies were serious about getting the industry back to work.
Instead, on the 113th day of the strike – and while SAG-AFTRA is walking the picket lines by our side – we were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was.
We explained all the ways in which their counter’s limitations and loopholes and omissions failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place. We told them that a strike has a price, and that price is an answer to all – and not just some – of the problems they have created in the business.
But this wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not 20 minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals.
This was the companies’ plan from the beginning – not to bargain, but to jam us. It is their only strategy – to bet that we will turn on each other.
Tomorrow we will send a more detailed description of the state of the negotiations. And we will see you all out on the picket lines so that the companies continue to see what labor power looks like.
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