The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers appear to be nearing the finish line on a deal that could end a historic, 145-day strike after the studios presented an alleged “best and final” offer to the union.
The companies’ latest offer was made on Saturday, according to studio-side sources familiar with the latest talks. In a joint statement, the AMPTP and WGA said, “The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining on Saturday and will meet again on Sunday.”
Earlier in the day, these sources said that the two parties were very close to reaching a final compromise and the studio side had continued to work on language regarding regulations on artificial intelligence. Those same sources noted that apprehension about the unpredictable future of A.I. had complicated the negotiation. The details as of Saturday afternoon were with company-side lawyers, who studio sources said had been hard at work on language since Friday night. They began working on the details on Saturday at around 10 a.m.
Management-side sources noted that new streaming residual compensation is part of the package and it is not tied to health and pension funds.
The denouement arrives during the fourth consecutive day of work towards a tentative deal. Top company leaders — Disney’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos — joined the talks at the AMPTP’s Sherman Oaks headquarters on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; the CEOs did not appear to be in attendance on Saturday but reps from the studios did gather via Zoom.
The studio side made moves in the previous days on issues including A.I., TV staffing sizes and compensation tied to the success of streaming projects, according to management-side sources. On Thursday night, there was a brief chill in relations between the parties when the Writers Guild allegedly came back late in the evening with new asks on items that the companies believed had already been settled. However, the next day, the parties made “lots of progress and [engaged in] good faith but they need more time,” said one management-side source on Friday.
Kim Masters contributed reporting.
Sept. 23, 5:36 p.m. Updated with information on studios’ best and final offer.
Sept. 23, 8:02 p.m. Updated with joint AMPTP-WGA statement.