As talks continued between the WGA and AMPTP on Friday, writers out on the Los Angeles picket lines told TheWrap that they’re encouraged but still skeptical that a deal will be reached soon.
“We know that there have been active negotiations between our leadership and between AMPTP,” said WGA member Ariana Jackson, a lot coordinator at CBS. “And that’s what we want to see. We want them at the table. We want them negotiating. We want to get a deal.”
She said that she’s “cautiously optimistic” about reports that “significant progress” has been made, but added, “It’s hard to have all the faith in them that I want to because they’ve pulled a lot of tricks and a lot of bad faith in negotiating, but I want them to be here today. We all want to go back to work. So give us a deal so that we can get back to work,” she said.
At Netflix, “Star Trek: Prodigy” writer Julie Benson said: “We’re hopeful. We’re here in support, in solidarity. We’re hoping they’re sitting down and talking and bargaining. Because I think you have to be realistic and know that each side’s got to give up something and let’s hope the studios are actually willing to negotiate.”
Benson noted that the 144-day strike has hit writers hard.
“Some people have to go take other jobs. Some people are losing their houses are unable to pay their rent,” she said.
“Believe me, our solidarity is not shaken,” Benson continued. “We are still in this to win this. And we’re fighting for the future of our industry. I’ve worked in this industry for 20 years. I would like to continue working and they’re making that more and more difficult.”
“Nobody really knows [if a deal will be made today] and we have to keep our expectations in check. We want this to be over, obviously, but we want a fair deal more than anything,” said Natalia Mejia, who’s written for “Snowfall” and “FBI: International.” She was out on the line at Netflix with her daughter in a stroller and a sign that read “Union Power!”
Meanwhile, at CBS, one writer had her newborn in a stroller, who, she said, had already been on the picket lines “in utero.”
Also at CBS, writer Shem Bitterman, whose credits include the “Whitney” and “Betty and Coretta” films for Lifetime, told TheWrap: “Everybody seems in really, remarkably good spirits. I was a strike captain in 2007. And the mood was very different.”
Commenting on parallel strikes in other industries, including autoworkers, Bitterman said, “Various industries have made so many people wealthy, so I really hope they’re getting the message [to pay people a fair wage.]”
“We are resolved to be out here until we get a fair deal and we get what we’re asking for,” said a WGA strike captain at CBS who asked us not to use her name.
Picket lines won’t be held on Monday because of the Yom Kippur holiday, but Jackson told TheWrap, “But we’re out here Tuesday, and we’re just as strong as ever.”
For all of TheWrap’s WGA strike coverage, read here.