The negotiations over the next three-year film and TV contract for the Writers Guild of America are set to resume Wednesday, the union is reporting to members.
“The WGA and AMPTP now have a confirmed schedule to bargain this week, starting on Wednesday,” the union said Monday in a communication to some 11,500 members, who are over four months into a strike over the expired pact. “You might not hear from us in the coming days while we are negotiating, but know that our focus is getting a fair deal for writers as soon as possible. We’ll reach out again when there is something of significance to report.”
The guild also encouraged members to show up at picket lines, “for yourselves and fellow writers, SAG-AFTRA, other unions’ members, and all those in our community who are impacted by the strikes.”
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios and streamers in these negotiations, confirmed the date.
Official bargaining over a new contract has been at a standstill since August, but the apparent stalemate between the two parties was broken Thursday, when the AMPTP announced that the WGA had reached out to resume talks. The WGA confirmed only that the two sides were attempting to schedule a new meeting.
The news of the fresh momentum in discussions took quick effect, with a previously scheduled meeting the next day between guild leaders and top showrunners like Kenya Barris and Noah Hawley getting canceled as a result of the development. On Monday, Bill Maher — who had just announced days earlier that he would restart production on his show amid the long-running strike — paused his plans, citing the return to the bargaining table. “Now that both sides have agreed to go back to the negotiating table I’m going to delay the return of Real Time, for now, and hope they can finally get this done,” he tweeted.
The WGA and the AMPTP have yet to come to terms on outstanding issues including minimum TV writer staff sizes and duration of employment, viewership-based residuals for projects on streaming platforms and regulations on the use of artificial intelligence in entertainment.