Hollywood Studios’ Controversial Strategy
With the writers’ strike reaching its 71st day and the actors’ union approaching a potential labor action, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) has revealed its plan to wait until fall before considering further negotiations with the Writers Guild of America (WGA). Sources within the industry confirm that studios and streaming platforms are determined to financially drain the guild, viewing this labor cycle as a pivotal moment for Hollywood.
According to insiders, the intention, set for late October is to allow the strike to continue until most writers are on the verge of financial ruin after five months of picketing and no work. Studios and the AMPTP believe that this tactic will force union members to plead with WGA leadership to resume talks, potentially giving the studios the upper hand in negotiating terms.
This severe approach is a response to the WGA’s successful battle against agencies in 2021, where they dismantled the practice of packaging. The guild’s relentless efforts resulted in agencies capitulating one by one.
However, a spokesperson for the AMPTP emphasizes that anonymous sources do not represent the official stance of the organization or its member companies, as they remain committed to reaching a deal and resuming work.
SAG-AFTRA is officially going on strike.
This is the first time both the actors & writers are on strike in over 60 years. pic.twitter.com/1S4Xnq3bdp
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) July 13, 2023
Since the strike began in early May, there have been no discussions between the AMPTP and the WGA, despite public offers from the guild to meet.
Simultaneously, negotiations with the Directors Guild proved successful, resulting in a ratified agreement last month. The studios hope to use this success and potentially bring actors back to the negotiating table, even if SAG-AFTRA joins the WGA on picket lines.
Regardless of whether SAG-AFTRA initiates a strike, the studios have no intention of resuming talks with the Writers Guild for several more months, intending to let the strike continue indefinitely. This strategy aims to gradually weaken the writers’ resolve until they have no choice but to accept terms to protect their financial stability.
Industry veterans, familiar with the perspective of studio CEOs, anticipate a prolonged strike, with the studios opting to let it drag on until the WGA is forced to capitulate.
As the strike persists, the resilience of the writers and the studios’ resolve will be tested, ultimately determining the outcome of this high-stakes battle for the future of the entertainment industry.