CMU School of Drama

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Writers Guilds Talks Going Down to the Wire as Hollywood Wonders Why

Variety: Indications are strong that industry negotiators will need be working down to the wire during the next five days to avoid a writers strike.

Sources tell Variety that there have been mixed results from the past two days of contract negotiations Tuesday and Wednesday. There were no public comments from either side at the headquarters of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as both camps are observing a media blackout.


Simone Schneeberg said...

I find it really interesting that delay is a tactic for both sides. As things get closer to the deadline a compromise becomes more and more necessary to avoid a strike and it's possible consequences. It seems in this situation, WGA has the advantage in waiting out and pushing closer to the wire. They appear to be holding the ace in their sleeve with overwhelming approval for the strike, but I don't know enough about the possible consequences to them if they carry through to say they won't also cave for a compromise. To avoid conflict both sides are going to have to give. I just wonder who will do so first and who will give more. How long will they push it? How much of an upper hand does WGA think they have in order to hold out? Does AMPTP think they are in a strong position to hold their ground and avoid strike? I think it would be an interesting study as a whole to see how stalling and deadlines make negotiations play out.

Emma Reichard said...

I always find it so interesting to rea about union wide contract negotiations like this one. There are just so many different interests at play and a whole slew of tactics being used. In this case, what really stikes me about this negotiation isn’t the strik threat or running right down to the wire. I feel like every negotiation I read about is using some sort of tactic like that. But because of the media blackout, very little information appears to be given about what exactly it is both parties disagree on. The only little hint that was given indicates its that the WGA wants to edit policies so that they aren’t left behind on the streaming-tv market. It’s insane to think that Netflix’s original series and similar streaming services can affect the entertainment industry in such a huge way. I’ll be very interested to learn how this issue gets resolved.

Sarah Boyle said...

Being worried about being left behind by new media is totally valid, but difficult to plan for in a contract. I read one of the earlier articles about how writers are (or aren't) getting paid because of this season issue, and I see why they got such strong support from members to have a strike. The article mentioned that the union has not revealed its bottom line for making a deal, but of course they haven't, there are negotiations going on. With both parties using stalling as a tactic, I feel like it will take a brief shutdown for both sides to make a deal. I also thought it was interesting how differently the director's union goes about contract negotiations, I wonder how they have dealt with some of the same compensation issues the writer's are now negotiating. I do hope that the writers have a good ending in this story.