WGA Says Studios Should Break From ‘Broken AMPTP Model’ to Negotiate

Striking Actors And Writers Focusing On Climate Issues Demonstrate For More Sustainable Career Path - Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
Striking Actors And Writers Focusing On Climate Issues Demonstrate For More Sustainable Career Path - Credit: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) assured its members Friday that they are ready for negotiations — and that it’s having productive conversations with individual Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) studios.

In the Friday letter, written after 130 days of strike, the WGA Negotiating Committee suggested that studios might have to break from the AMPTP and its “paralysis,” stating that they’ve had productive conversations with separate studio executives who seem willing to negotiate.

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The guild claimed that the negotiation “standstill” is due to the’ “broken AMPTP model,” but that they’re willing to negotiate “outside of the confines” of the media companies’ alliance.

“The AMPTP purports to represent all of these disparate corporate interests, but in practice administers a system that favors inflexibility over compromise, and sacrifices the interests of individual companies in reaching a deal,” the letter read. “That regression to the hardest line has produced the first simultaneous strikes since 1960.”

The letter claimed that one executive told the WGA that they had “reviewed our proposals,” saying that the changes would “not affect their company’s bottom line.”

“They recognized they must give more than usual to settle this negotiation. Another said they needed a deal badly,” the letter continued. “Those same executives — and others — have said they are willing to negotiate on proposals that the AMPTP has presented to the public as deal breakers. On every single issue we are asking for we have had at least one legacy studio executive tell us they could accommodate us.”

The letter continued by stating that the companies will continue to “sow doubt” in the meantime, and encouraged members to “keep your guard up.”

“The companies know the truth: they must negotiate if they want to end the strike. They may not like it —they may try to obscure it — but they know it,” the statement read. “While they wrestle with that fact and with each other, they will continue attempting to get writers to settle for less than what we need and deserve, and encourage us to negotiate with ourselves. But we are not going to do that.”

The new letter comes several days after a Labor Day message shared by WGA negotiating committee co-chair Chris Keyser.

“They are in the process of wrestling amongst themselves, ramping up their public relations, and coming to terms with the fact that – with writers on strike – and actors on strike behind them – this negotiation is different,” Keyser said Monday. “Much of our frustration with how long this is taking stems from that – from their internal bargaining.”

The writers strike reached the four-month mark this weekend, and AMPTP’s latest proposal on Aug. 11 was denounced by members after details of the contract offer were released.

The WGA Negotiating Committee responded to the leaked proposal last month, saying it “failed to sufficiently protect writers from the existential threats that caused us to strike in the first place.”

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