The WGA and the AMPTP met yesterday and then issued a joint statement:
Joint Statement from WGA and AMPTP: The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow. #WGAStrike— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) September 21, 2023
This is, no doubt, encouraging. The fact that both sides are back at the table and have agreed to show up at the table again means that right now they’re willing to keep talking, which is certainly more progress than we’ve seen in months. But… at the same time… let’s not exaggerate the progress. Because the exaggeration is out there. Like this article at CNBC that notes that a deal could be reached today, with the reporter qualifying it with a warning:
After face to face meeting today, writers and producers near agreement to end WGA strike. Met today and hope to finalize deal tomorrow, according to people close to the negotiations, who, while optimistic, warn that without deal tomorrow strike likely continues through year end.— David Faber (@davidfaber) September 21, 2023
The way it’s supposed to work, with the brevity of that joint statement which was basically just a short conformation of the fact that they did meet and they will meet again, is that neither side is supposed to be leaking sh-t to the media. So for some members of the media to be suggesting that a deal might be imminent…
I mean, obviously, everyone hopes that they can all come to an agreement and get people back to work. But as we have also seen, there have been manipulation tactics at play. And setting up these expectations, well, you have to wonder who that benefits and what the intended takeaway might be. Here are a couple of tweets that put it into perspective:
Hi itâ€™s me, the negotiations grinch, reminding you that â€œvery encouragingâ€ and â€œincredible progressâ€ are exactly what the studios would say if they want to get peopleâ€™s hopes up and make the WGA look unreasonable for not taking a bad deal. Thanks/sorry/please wait for real news! https://t.co/eDOCTdvy3Y— Shawn Wines (@shawnwines) September 20, 2023
It is possible that the AMPTP is setting up the narrative that, should talks break off and they once again find themselves at an impasse, they’re fomenting the idea that they tried their best, with all these details about the CEOs from Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros, and Universal graciously clearing their schedules to accommodate this current round of negotiations. So… it just smells a little suspicious.
Again, like I said, of course everyone is hoping that they can come to a deal, a FAIR deal for the writers. It’s not just about oh, let’s meet and sign some papers and whoever doesn’t want to sign the papers is the problem. The PROBLEM is that the writers have not been paid or protected, that their working conditions have gradually eroded over time, so if the reasonable changes that they’re asking for aren’t met, and they don’t sign the papers, that’s on the studios, even though they seem to be, already, setting up some spin.
Yours in gossip,