Has the WGA meeting with concerned showrunners been postponed?

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has postponed a meeting with a group of concerned showrunners as they prepare to resume contract bargaining talks with Hollywood’s major studios next week. The meeting, which was initially scheduled for today, was set to include showrunners such as Kenya Barris, Noah Hawley, and Sam Esmail, who were seeking insight from WGA leadership to restart negotiations and resolve the ongoing strike.

The guild’s decision to postpone the meeting comes as they also connect with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to resume bargaining negotiations. It is understood that both sides agreed that the WGA should focus on preparing for these negotiations. Additionally, the approaching Rosh Hashanah holiday played a role in complicating the scheduling of the meeting.

The showrunners group has been actively trying to meet with the co-chairs of the WGA negotiating committee, David Goodman and Chris Keyser, since Labor Day in order to express the urgency of resuming negotiations. However, the meeting has faced several reschedulings and cancellations, with rumors circulating widely since last week.

On Wednesday, the WGA reached out to the AMPTP to restart talks, although it is unclear who initiated the first call. Despite growing restlessness within the guild, there are currently no signs of open revolt or an effort to sideline leadership. All parties involved are trying to maintain solidarity, with WGA leaders emphasizing that a showrunner meeting would not be a big deal and the showrunners themselves conveying their willingness to be helpful and not divide the guild.

The WGA has stated that the latest offer from the AMPTP, made on August 11, is not sufficient, pointing out deficiencies and loopholes in several areas. The WGA made a counteroffer on August 15, making slight moves from their previous position in a couple of areas. However, over the past three weeks, both the union and the studios have been waiting for the other side to make a move. The WGA has informed its members that a new offer from the studios would be coming, while the studios have stated that it is the WGA’s turn to respond.

In the midst of this ongoing strike, several talk shows have recently announced their return for the fall season. However, some hosts have drawn criticism for deciding to resume taping episodes without their WGA writers. This follows a pattern set by hosts such as Jay Leno, Conan O’Brien, Ellen DeGeneres, and others during the 2007-08 writers strike, when they returned to the air without pre-written material within a few weeks of the strike’s commencement.

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