As the continued impact of the actor and writer’s strikes hits the entertainment industry, work on scripted movies and shows in Hollywood and beyond has pretty much shut down since the actors went on strike in May, with the actors also going on strike in July.
Over the last month or so, there have been many meetings between the Writer’s Guild Of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, aka the studios like Disney. However, following a disastrous meeting between the CEOs and the Writer’s Guild on August 22nd 2023, there has been little movement between the two sides, who are both claiming they are waiting on the other side to give them a new offer.
The original strategy has been to focus on dealing with the Writer’s strike and get that sorted, since they need the writers back to work to get writing this winter’s scripted shows like “9-1-1” and “Grey’s Anatomy”. However, things might be set to change, as according to the Wrap, with a growing sense of urgency to get back to work, many of the studio leaders want to get together around a table with members of the SAG-AFTRA union to sort out a deal.
“There’s a real urge to get a deal done. It’s been weeks since there have been any talks with the writers, and there are some among the studios who don’t want to sit on their hands waiting for writers to provide another proposal and want to see if there can be progress with SAG-AFTRA instead.”
There is mounting pressure on the studios to get a deal with the actors sorted, since they can resume filming on many shows and films that already have scripts, finish projects that are already almost completed and also market upcoming releases. In the past week or so, many executives from the studios have been much more vocal about wanting to get a deal together, but ultimately, until the two sides come together to talk, nothing is going to happen.
So far, the studios haven’t met with SAG-AFTRA since the actors went on strike in July. In order for talks to resume, there needs to be some extensive negotiations through back channels on both sides, for AMPTP President Carol Lombardini to formally reach out to SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and the guild’s negotiating committee, led by chief negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland.
According to SAG-AFTRA, they’ve told The Wrap, that there have not been any back-channel discussions with the AMPTP about potentially resuming talks. Both Duncan and Fran have been out at events and on social media talking about wanting to get together with the studios to sort out a deal.
While the studios have been filling in their schedules with unscripted, library and international shows, in addition to slowing down releases of content already filmed, there is a clock ticking on how long these strikes can continue, as eventually, they will run out of domestic scripted content.
It’s not going to be easy for either strike to end, since the studios and the unions are very apart on their demands, especially over the use of AI and streaming residuals. Audiences are also going to slowly start calling out the streaming services and studios for not releasing new scripted content when it starts drying up. Plus, Wall Street is also now putting more pressure on the studios to sort out the situation. Studio executives have been meeting together to try to come to an agreement on how to proceed, and they’ve also hired a new PR company to help them navigate the situation, following some PR blunders.
Hopefully, now the summer is over, and the winter is quickly approaching, the studios will commence talks with both the actors and the writers, (ideally at the same time).
What do you think the studios should do right now? Pay up and get this over with? Let us know on social media!