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High-profile entertainers gather to discuss studio demands: 'We can't be at war one day' and partners the next

The showrunners held a hours-long guild session Saturday at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills to introduce senior writers and producers in the television industry to

Update on WGA strike against the Film and Television Producers Union .

The meeting comes after the first week of the strike, with studios including Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount writing last week to Showrunners are required to continue non-writing production duties in ways that may, in some cases, cross the picket line. For example, Disney told the showrunners in the letter that, in this capacity, they “may…be required” to perform so-called “services (a) through (h),” which are prohibited by the WGA’s strike rules.

“[Overall] everyone was so aligned and united,” said a longtime performer who attended the WGA at Point out – during the strike Argue among guild members. “This is very different from ’07.”

WGA Negotiating Committee Joint Chairman Chris Keyser was in the spotlight again on Saturday, reiterating comments from Wednesday’s rally outlining how to engage with AMPTP broke down before moving on to a broader discussion of why showrunners shouldn’t be performing non-writing production services or promoting their shows during the strike.

“It’s as easy as we go to war with the studios,” Keyser was quoted as saying by a showrunner. “We can’t be at war one day and be their partner the next. If we’re going to be in the For Your Consideration [Emmys] campaign, we’re their partner. It’s impossible to separate a producer’s brain from a writer’s brain It’s all about writing, especially when you’re a show host.”

Ann Farriday, WGA Senior Director of Membership Organizations, sent an invitation email to show hosts on Friday , calling on them to discuss “where we are, how we got here and where we go from here ” with the guild leaders on Saturday.” sources described the scene as a packed house, “bigger than anything” similar to the WGA’s last ongoing strike 30 days at 500-30 . According to the venue’s website , whose seating capacity was slightly below 500, attendees described turnout as full, if not exceeded.

Those in attendance on Saturday included Damon Lindelof(Peacock’sMrs. Davis) , David E. Kelley (ABC’s Big Sky, Max’s Love & Death , Netflix’s Lincoln Lawyer ), Bill Lawrence (Apple’s Ted Lasso, shrinking ), Alex Kurtzman (the Star Trek Paramount+ franchise) and Shawn Ryan (Netflix’s The Night Agent) . Over a burrito breakfast, several senior writers in attendance said they were encouraged by guild officials to disagree on non-writing works.

“Keyser and David Goodman encouraging dissent [co-chairs of the WGA negotiating committee] is a major shift,” said one participant. “Being one of the naysayers [during the union’s fight with agencies over packaging fees], the ATA campaign discouraged it. “It’s a different world without David Young in charge. “

Ryan, five-time WGA negotiating committee member sat in the audience this round Talked about why at 500 he changed his mind and chose not to provide production services for studio. The situation was described as “a never-ending series of ethical dilemmas that can never be resolved before a statement leaves the production cleaner”.

During the meeting, the showrunners brought up their Different guidance from reps and employers when it comes to responsibilities. “Everyone has different reps, they work for different studios, and those studios approach it differently. It’s hard when you get a ‘horrible letter,’ that’s what they call them,” said one attendee. Their personal circumstances.

On Friday, the guild responded to reports of the studio letter by specifically lashing out at Disney. writing services, including the functions ‘(a) to (h)’,” the union said of its strike rules, which put showrunners and writer-producers in a position where they respond to differing demands from employers and unions. Dilemma.

“(A) to (h) came up a lot,” said the same participant who said he didn’t know what those responsibilities included because he had only heard about them recently. “They Remind us that we cannot fulfill [those duties]. The problem is that it’s hard to define where writing ends and something else begins. “

Other WGA leaders on stage included Ellen Stutzman, the WGA’s chief negotiator at the western branch of the union, and David Young, executive director of the union, in February Negotiating Committee Co-Chairman David Goodman, Union Secretary and Treasurer Betsy Thomas and President Meredith Stiehm will be in attendance on sick leave later in the week .Stutzman reiterated her comments on Wednesday about the WGA’s support from other unions and singled out the Teamsters on Saturday.Stutzman pointed out that this strike is different from -30 Because several core issues are writer-specific, it is unlikely that the WGA will accept the same deal offered to the Directors Guild of America. During the last strike, the DGA reached an agreement ahead of the writers that provided the template for the WGA’s eventual compromise with the studios.

“Allen 1235480879 No said don’t expect to repeat 500 DGA stepped in and A deal is made, and we accept their deal — because even if they negotiated the best deal in the world, that deal wouldn’t solve the problems of mini-rooms, span protections and minimal writers’ workload,” said another observer.

The Hollywood Reporter has contacted WGA representatives for comment.

The WGA strike began on May 2 after the WGA and AMPTP were unable to reach an agreement and the guild’s current minimum basic agreement expired. At rallies in Los Angeles and New York on Wednesday, the WGA Outlining solidarity with other guilds – including with the Directors Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, whose contracts with studios expire in June 100.This week, members of various guilds joined writers on the picket line to show solidarity and support in the fight against AMPTP over core issues including higher wage floors, traffic Data transparency for media and policing of mini-rooms and use of human intelligence. Negotiations between DGA and AMPTP will start next week.

Another experienced presenter concludes “Every question [Saturday] was about, how can I best advance this cause? Everyone is doing the right thing. “




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