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In Panic Mode: Bob Iger and AMPTP Meet as Strike Talks Stall

Bob Iger AMPTP meeting

For four months, many of Hollywood’s writers have been out of the writers’ rooms and on the picket lines. On May 2, The Writers Guild of America announced that its more than 11,000 members would be striking after failing to negotiate a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The last time the WGA went on strike was in 2007, and it lasted 100 days. This time, the strike is approaching the 130-day marker and is showing no signs of slowing down.

WGA Strike

Credit: Diane Greene Lent, Flickr

As if Hollywood losing most of its writers wasn’t bad enough, just two months later, the Screen Actors Guild also announced that its nearly 200,000 members would also be going on strike. That meant that most film and television productions would come to a grinding halt. Both the writers’ strike and the actors’ strike have caused production numbers to plummet to levels not seen since the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Disney Actors residuals stories are horrifying

Credit: Herman de Keyperling, Flickr

The AMPTP’s negotiating team — consisting of Disney CEO Bob Iger, Universal Pictures Chief Content Officer Donna Langley, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. CEO David Zaslav, and Carol Lombardini, the President of the AMPTP — has met with the WGA negotiating committee more than once, but have never been able to come to an agreement.

Most recently, the two sides met on August 11, with the AMPTP saying it had a new agreement to present to the Guild. A week after that meeting, the AMPTP released its proposal to the media. That worked out the exact opposite way they were hoping. WGA representatives slammed Iger and his team, saying that they were trying to force the Guild into a bad contract by leaking the offer.

Bob Iger Pay Cut

Credit: Thomas Hawk, Flickr

Not long after the proposal was published, they started to get a lot of backlash. So much backlash that they hired a crisis PR team to help them handle future negotiations. And now, it appears that the AMPTP is getting even more desperate.

Per a report from TheWrap, Iger, Langley, Sarandos, Zaslav, and Lombardini have had several meetings to discuss how to end the strike. The WGA negotiating committee is standing strong, but the AMPTP does not want to give in either.

Insiders for the studios say that Hollywood’s executives have spent the last week unsure of where talks go from this point, saying that share a reluctance to “negotiate against themselves” in any further discussions…

In the meantime, there is increasing nervousness on the studio side about the damage that the strike will inflict on the entertainment industry if writers and actors remain on the picket lines well into the fall. Films such as Sony’s “Kraven the Hunter” and Warner Bros.’ “Dune: Part Two” have moved out of the fall 2023 release slate in the hopes that the SAG-AFTRA strike will be resolved in 2024, enabling the casts of those films to do promotional work.

Dune part 1

Credit: Warner Bros.

During Disney’s third-quarter earnings calls, held in early August, Iger said that he was “personally committed” to ending both the WGA strike and SAG strike. However, he may not be walking the walk. According to previous reports, during the last meeting between the WGA and the AMPTP, the WGA claims they were “lectured” about why they should accept the AMPTP’s offer.

There are no further meetings between the AMPTP and SAG or the WGA scheduled at this time.

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

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