A wave of optimism swept over Hollywood on Saturday (2 February) when it became apparent that after a week of informal talks between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers (AMPTP), a deal between the two might follow soon. This would put an end to the three-month long WGA strike. Until now, the WGA and the AMPTP have been unable to agree on writers’ compensation for new media residuals.
However, in the midst of the optimism came words of caution from WGA East Coast President Patric Verrone and his counterpart at the WGA’s West Coast branch, Michael Winship. Both stressed that until a deal was actually signed with the AMPTP, the strike was still in progress. WGA members were instructed to resume their positions on the picket line on 4 February.
If no deal is reached in the next few weeks, the strike may jeopardise the Oscars which are scheduled to take place on 24 February at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. The WGA is expected to picket the Oscars, as it did the Golden Globes, and the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) is not likely to cross the picket lines.
Meanwhile, because the strike has shut down production on Hollywood television dramas and sitcoms, Canadian broadcasters have been lining up to sell their homegrown dramas to US networks. (Source: Hollywood Reporter)