Is the WGA Strike Almost Over?

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On the eve of talks resuming between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the New York Times sanctioned blogger Nikki Finke.

She reported the following in a post headlined “Dare We Hope a Deal Has Been Struck…?”:

[A] very reliable source tells me that there appears to be a deal seemingly in place between both sides. …

That’s because of the weeks worth of groundwork by the Hollywood agents working the … guild leadership on one side and the studio and network moguls on the other.

Nikki Finke
Nikki Finke.
Photo credit:

Finke went on to vaguely detail how a deal might have already been agreed upon.

When it was first announced that the WGA and AMPTP were to resume, pundits commented on the odd, 10-day lead-in time for talks. The blogosphere rumor mill continued speculating that agents had brought both sides to agreement as they have in past strikes.

This round of talks, which is unusually scheduled for three days (past talks were scheduled as one-day sessions), was supposedly to flesh out a deal already in place.

Nothing has been confirmed yet by the official sources such as Variety or the Hollywood Reporter. They along with the New York Times have all been criticized for their supposedly AMPTP-friendly coverage.

Rumors spread with both outlooks: some hopeful and some cautious. Finke posted that the studios arrived with “a very comprehensive proposal [that] laid out to all the entire [road map of] the deal”.

The most clear speculation on a settlement came from Craig Mazin.

Of the two major issues (DVD and Internet residuals), Mazin personally felt the concessions would be made over the former for gains in the latter. He added: “The companies know their current offer is a non-starter in a general sense.”

If we’ve gotten past some of the major stumbling blocks and boiled it down to the serious stuff at hand … and … if the AMPTP is ready to acknowledge certain basic realities, … then we might be back to work soon.

Craig Mazin
Craig Mazin.
Photo credit: IMDb

Variety recently reported on two polls. A Pepperdine poll showed 69 percent of the public favoring the WGA while a SurveyUSA poll had 63 percent backing the position of the writers.

Talks between the WGA and the AMPTP are set to resume on Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. and will go through Wednesday if a settlement is not reached. Tuesday was the first official negotiation since the strike began on Nov. 5.

By Shane Hazen
Staff Writer

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