In the showdown that is the writers' strike, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) has apparently blinked first.
The WGA sent out a memo to its members yesterday (which of course was blasted online all over the place) informing the guild of its negotiation status. After the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) invited the WGA back to the bargaining table, the writers guild decided a bit of goodwill was necessary to show the studios that they fully intend to resolve this matter quickly.
The entire memo to WGA members, courtesy of Deadline Hollywood, is below:
"We have responded favorably to the invitation from the AMPTP to enter into informal talks that will help establish a reasonable basis for returning to negotiations. During this period we have agreed to a complete news blackout. We are grateful for this opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion with industry leaders that we hope will lead to a contract. We ask that all members exercise restraint in their public statements during this critical period.
In order to make absolutely clear our commitment to bringing a speedy conclusion to negotiations we have decided to withdraw our proposals on reality and animation. Our organizing efforts to achieve Guild representation in these genres for writers will continue. You will hear more about this in the next two weeks.
On another issue, the Writers Guild, West board of directors has voted not to picket the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. Members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) face many of the same issues concerning compensation in new media that we do. In the interest of advancing our goal of achieving a fair contract, the WGAW Board felt that this gesture should be made on behalf [of] our brothers and sisters in AFM and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA)."
There are bound to be mixed emotions over the removal of both reality and animation proposals, but the naysayers who claim that the WGA played soft should take solace in the fact that there will be attempts to bring those groups into the fold through regular methods.
As for the Grammys, the award ceremony's producers aren't the only ones who will be ecstatic. A good time at the Grammys could put more pressure on both the AMPTP and WGA to resolve the strike issue before the upcoming Academy Awards, which will be held February 24.
For more on the writers' strike, check out TV.com's Strike Source, featuring up-to-date statuses on shows, the latest information, and more.