7 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network
WGA resume bargaining with AMPTP with CEOs in attendance
21 Sep 2023 : Luke Shanahan
Writers Guild of America strike
Disney CEO Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos and NBCUniversal Studio Group chairman and chief content officer Donna Langley attended a meeting between WGA and AMPTP on Wednesday, 20th September. This is the second time that the CEOs of AMPTP-represented companies have attended bargaining sessions.

As the current WGA strike entered its 142nd day, not far off the longest WGA strike on record (154 days in 1988), talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resumed. Notably, CEOS of AMPTP-represented companies were in attendance: Bob Iger of Disney, Ted Sarandos of Netflix, Donna Langley of NBCUniversal and David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery. Talks concluded in the late afternoon with plans to continue today, September 21st, with said CEOs expected to be in attendance. 

The two parties issued a joint statement at 5pm yesterday: “The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow.”

Although it is uncommon for CEOs to be in attendance at these talks, this is the second time this has happened during the strike. On August 21st, WGA leaders met with Iger, Langley, Zaslav, Sarandos and AMPTP president Carol Lombardini. The Guild issued a statement afterwards explaining that this meeting did not meet the Guild’s terms, with the AMPTP offering only one counteroffer.

“We were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counter offer was,” the statement read. “This wasn’t a meeting to make a deal. This was a meeting to get us to cave, which is why, not twenty minutes after we left the meeting, the AMPTP released its summary of their proposals.”

It would appear that yesterday's session was distinct from the unsatisfactory meeting on August 21st, with one studio-side source telling The Hollywood Reporter that “If they’re putting out a joint statement, I’m taking that as a positive sign.” They continued: “Given what’s transpired, this feels different from before.”

IFTN Festive Q&A with actor Albrecht Schuch
IFTN Festive Q&A with director Luke McManus
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