Back to the Bargaining Table Today

Talks between the AMPTP and WGA are set to resume today, but after the ramped up name-calling, finger-pointing and bickering of the last four days, it seems unlikely the two sides are close to a resolution. If the AMPTP and WGA can’t even concur on whose idea it was to recess the talks until today, how will they navigate the complex and murky waters of new media and streaming content together?

Ever since the media blackout was lifted last week (or was unilaterally broken by the AMPTP, according to United Hollywood), things have gone from merely contentious to downright ugly. The supposedly groundbreaking new proposal presented by the AMPTP last week was taken as an insult by the WGA and served only to inflame writers’ tempers.

Without a Trace creator Hank Steinberg accused the AMPTP of intentionally leaking misinformation to Deadline Hollywood Daily’s Nikki Finke in order to “get us feeling comfortable, get us psychologically used to the idea that the strike will end, and then dash those hopes.” And WGA board member Tom Schulman published an open letter urging members to harden their resolve against the AMPTP’s divide and conquer tactics.

But there may be a small ray of hope today. The AMPTP took out full-page ads in the trades this morning that seem to be somewhat conciliatory. In a tone that is markedly different from the hard-nosed stance of many of its prior public letters, the ad insists that “this is not a zero-sum campaign where there is one winner and one loser. We need the writers and the writers need us. And we need to work together if we are to navigate the rapids of this increasingly complex, high-tech economy.”

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