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Derailed Dialogue: Why the WGA Abandoned High-Stakes Conversations with Leading Hollywood Showrunners

Published on September 12th, 2023 | Updated on September 12th, 2023 | By FanFest

Derailed Dialogue: Why the WGA Abandoned High-Stakes Conversations with Leading Hollywood Showrunners

Derailed Dialogue: Why the WGA Abandoned High-Stakes Conversations with Leading Hollywood Showrunners

Unprecedented Turbulence in WGA’s Negotiations

Contrary to optimism that reigned last month, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) appears to be hitting more roadblocks. Sources indicate that not only have negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) failed to progress, but now the WGA’s top brass has also reportedly scrapped a scheduled discussion with some of Hollywood’s premier showrunners.

Hopes Dashed as Negotiation Tables Turn Cold

Last month’s meeting between WGA negotiators and AMPTP representatives marked the first time both parties came together since the WGA strike commenced in May. Though spirits were high as the meeting started, it unfortunately concluded with an increased divide between the two parties. Now, reports from TheWrap confirm that a planned dialogue between the WGA leadership and Hollywood’s leading showrunners has been abruptly called off.

Internal Conflicts: When Dialogues Turn Into Shouting Matches

The atmosphere was reportedly tense between the WGA and showrunners like Kenya Barris and Noah Hawley. It’s said that what were supposed to be constructive talks swiftly devolved into shouting matches and verbal hangups. According to Sharon Waxman of TheWrap, “The showrunners began to reach out for clarification last Tuesday, and the exchanges with WGA leadership were described as intense and emotional, with phone calls leading to fights, shouting matches and ‘screaming hangups.'”

Hollywood is Closed! Actors Union Votes to Strike, Shutting Everything Down

A Fruitless Gathering with Studio Bigwigs

WGA representatives had expressed hope earlier this week when they were invited to meet with influential studio heads like Bob Iger, Donna Langley, Ted Sarandos, David Zaslav, and Carol Lombardini. However, the meeting didn’t go as planned. A WGA memo reads, “On Monday of this week, we received an invitation to meet. It was accompanied by a message that it was past time to end this strike and that the companies were finally ready to bargain for 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.”

Striking Writers Continue Their Standoff

The Writers Guild of America has now been on strike for over 130 days, exhibiting a steadfast resolve even amidst growing internal and external conflicts.

Final Thoughts: What’s Next for the Writers’ Strike?

The WGA’s long-standing strike has yet to find a resolution, and now with the cancellation of critical meetings and increasing internal dissent, one wonders what the next chapter in this saga will be. It’s clear that the road to reconciliation is far from smooth, but it’s also evident that the WGA and its members are not willing to back down easily. As negotiations continue to falter and dialogues turn into disputes, the question remains—will there be a breakthrough, or is the industry bracing for a protracted stalemate?

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