Writers Strike Breakthrough: The End is Near!
Reports from insiders are saying that a breakthrough in contract talks has been reached over this weekend. Writers Guild of America leaders and studio executives met on Friday and Saturday night this weekend and the buzz coming from the inside is that talks have gone quite well. UnitedHollywood.com ran an update on Saturday saying, "UH has confirmed from off-the-record sources that progress is indeed being made in the informal talks, and that creative solutions to the biggest differences between the AMPTP and the WGA have gotten the tentative and cautious approval of both sides." While this doesn't mean there is a deal, it does mean things are getting very close and we may possibly see the strike ending this week or next.
Things seem to be falling into place perfectly in time for the Oscars on February 24th. Most seem to say that it was the DGA's tentative agreement (on January 17th) with the AMPTP (Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers) that has fueled progress with the writers strike. Work still remains to be done on the agreement, and it would still need to be approved by a majority of guild members, but as UnitedHollywood.com points out, everything seems to be moving along solidly.
"Just as happened with the DGA deal, points that are agreed to in informal negotiation can be thought of as points on a deal memo -- but it's the drafting language that comes from hammering out those points that makes them legally binding. And our sources say that draft language doesn't yet exist. That's a big part of what will be happening in the next few days, as negotiations continue."
Interim agreements were made throughout January with individual studios like United Artists, The Weinstein Company, Lionsgate, and Marvel Productions, but not all studios have signed and ideally these agreements don't mean all too much. In the recent informal meetings that started up last week, the writers guild and studio executives have been discussing some of the most sensitive matters, including compensation for digital distribution and streamed content. Reports state that solutions to these issues have received the "tentative and cautious approval of both sides."
For the sake of everyone involved, I really hope this breakthrough finally means the end is really in sight. Not only do I want to the Oscars to go on in all their glory, but also I hope that the stubborn studio execs are finally coming to their senses and agreeing to what the writers are asking for. We'll keep you updated on the progress and whether or not the writers strike really will come to an end this week.