The writers guild on Thursday sent out an incendiary message to its members, saying that a meeting tomorrow, telling members that management may not be willing yet to cede serious ground in negotiations. This is the equivalent of throwing a grenade into this drama, and will likely set back any potential settlement for some time.
Rather than throwing out an olive branch, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has decided to throw out a torch and make the situation already more fiery than it has been in recent weeks.
A story in the Hollywood Reporter blared “Writers blast latest AMPTF Efforts to Resume Negotiations: “Insulting and Out-of-Touch.”
Member of the WGA expressed their frustration about reports that SAG-AFTRA threw out an olive branch to studios and the major streamers to determine if there was a path forward. “So many insulting and out-of-touch things were said in that meeting. Putting aside the supposed complex issues…When it comes to pattern issues, suggesting that we would take the same terms the DGA inexplicably took while we’re on a strike in its four month is preposterous,” wrote WGA member Dan Signer.
But really, what other choice do SAG-AFTRA and WGA have other than coming back to the negotiating table while the entire entertainment ecosystem suffers? Warner Bros. Discovery Chairman & CEO David Zaslav reported good news/bad news on their earnings call on Thursday.
The company saved $100 million in its latest quarter due to the strike. However, this also means that cable and satellite subscribers may end up getting fed up with their huge video bills when only non-scripted shows without actors like Big Brother end up on their DVR.
We’re in the business of storytelling…And we cannot do that without the entirety of the creative community, the great creative community, without the writers, directors, editors, producers, actors and the whole below-the-line crew,” said Zaslav.
The New York Times
Cameo says that there was a 137% increase in the number of accounts reactivated or created on Cameo in July compared with June (the actors strike started on July 14). And while most people think of A-List actors that star in blockbuster films when they think of actors, only 86% of the 160K SAG-AFTRA members make more than $26,500 a year for their union work.
Thankfully, Meryl Streep and George Clooney just donated $1 million each to the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, a charity associated with the actors union that provides financial assistance to performers, and they have lobbied other major talent to donate, raising $15 million thus far.