Writers make concessions in talks

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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.

Comments (24)
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I hope.
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just one step closer, i suppose...
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$crew the WGA!! It's keeping me from my shows and that just makes me cross.
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chalfacre:I agree 100% with you. The writers want more money, the WGA wants more power. If it wasn't for the awful choice of tactics chosen by the WGA (commanded by a "professional blue collar union leader") that strike would have ended (or never even started) a long time ago.

I was hoping the DGA deal would have a greater impact on the strike, but 10 plus days later I don't see things moving forward.
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I couldn`t agree more DabbleDone
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Im sorry, but the WGA has not been "more than reasonable." Multiple reports from various outlets have all stated the same thing: the AMPTP backed off from negotiations due to the WGA's attempt to expand the Union's power and leverage by unionizing reality and animation writers; some of which are already apart of the union. The reason this is unreasonable is because it is not a central issue for the union's members. It does not help make it's members (the ones who voted to strike in the first palce) any money. And it does not benefit the average member in any way, except in the case of another strike. The AMPTP's request to have the issues withdrawn was necessary, because if another strike should occur, the only place for non-writing crew embers to find employment may be reality programming. It's a safety net for the rest of us! The WGA only wants to unionize the reality and animation writers so that they have more power and more leverage to get their way more often. It was the WGA's (as a union, not as a group of writer's) greed that halted negotiations. Their other requests were by far more than reasonable but that one issue had to ruin it for everyone. If they had just conceded and held those issues off for a later date this entire strike could have been over before Christmas. Proof of that is the DGA and AMPTP workign out a deal in only 5 days! Now tell me, when those two groups can work a fair deal in such little time, who really looks like the greedy ones in this entire debate? It's the studios and the network's money being pumped into these projects, not the writer's and certainly not the WGA's. They're operating on razor thin profit margins as is. Profit, not revenue. Lastly though, the one thing no one is taking into consideration: if the studios and the networks make more money the more productions and projects they'll be able to fund. It's not like they keep the money to themselves, their revenues go back into paying for new productions! the more productions they can fund, the more jobs there are and the more writer's they'll need! It's a benefit for the studios and networks to make more money, it creates jobs! Which is the complete opposite of what this strike has done!
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This just proves that the WGA is being more then resonable, just as they have been since the beginning of this strike. Good for them!
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i'm so addicted to journeyman
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I hope they can resolve this quickly and that the writers strike will end soon. I miss my shows.
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Please make this stop soon. I want my shows back.
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The people out there who are whining and saying that they want their tv back so the writer's need to just get on with their jobs are really starting to annoy me. Can someone please tell them that there's more to life than the tv shows that come on everyday? TV is a great form of entertainment, but there are so many other things to do besides watch tv. If you really miss TV there are plenty of DVDs out there that I'm sure you've never watched. Have you watched all the episodes of Buffy? Angel? Smallville? Ugly Betty? Grey's Anatomy? The OC? Friends? Gilmore Girls? Charmed? There are plenty of tv shows available on DVD to tie you over. Who knows, maybe while you were watching one of your shows there was another equally good show on.



And how about other options besides TV. Books are a great way to kill your time. They're excellent for entertainment. And if you say you don't have time for books, how about trying a comic book or a graphic novel. There are some stories out there that are worth giving a shot. Those who are new to this medium I recomend trying The Death of Superman or DC's recent Sinestro Corps War.



Here's a third option if you're living somewhere warm. Go OUTSIDE! Many people in the north are stuck inside to the weather, if you're in the south go outside and enjoy your warm weather! Go make a campfire and roast marshmallows.



I mean, there are plenty of things to do besides TV. Don't waste your time on American Gladiators if you don't really want to watch it. There are so many better things to do.
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lol corko21. True, true but if they give in the big man wins again.
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I was, and still am understanding of the writer's argument...and use to be behind them. However, I have rethought it, and am now behind myself. I want TV to come back, so I can stop forcing myself to watch American Gladiators like a fat girl chowing down a pint of Hagen Dasz. My only other alternative is to go out and get drunk, and I just can't do that 5X a week...its too expensive. So how about we figure this out, quit whining over pennies and get back to work.
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Good (those proposals were in bad taste anyway). Hopefully they can resolve this by the month's end. That's be awesome.
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Hopefully it will end soon cause it is really effecting the series!
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END THE STRIKE!!!!!!!! writers are amazing especially for my favorite shows and I know the companies can spare a bit of money. END THE STRIKE!!!!!!!!!!!! plzz
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I miss all the good shows! This strike sucks!
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Yeah, wiggle47, these people are really egotistical, ones for trying to get just compensation for their work, others for trying to get the best deal possible so that they can pay thousands of employees and still keep a profit margin that attracts investors and allows for the business to grow. They all should think on the people who want to sit on a couch and watch tv and have no alternatives (like reading a book, going out, spending time with loved ones, going on the internet, etc, etc, etc).
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I'm sorry to say that this battle is starting to piss me off. TV-land is is on hold for a long time now. and nobody is thinking of us, the community. it's always about money and egoism!! I think it's time they went back to work on an agreement that is suitable for everybody especially for the community.
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asutho - I believe what they meant by reality and animation, is that the writers guild wanted these to fall under their umbrella. Currently the people who write these (I know on reality shows they're called "editors") do not fall under the protection of the union.
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"Well im glad they aren't picketing the Grammys
Does anyone know what they mean about the aniamtion and reality thing?"

Basically most Reality and Animation shows are not covered under the guild. This means that the writers have to deal on their own and can end up working long hours of overtime without due compensation and get no health coverage and such. The writers from those camps (on the most part) want to be part of the guild because then they get a fair deal. Obviously this is detrimental to the big companies especially in that if they were part of the guild then there'd not even be reality to plug the strike gap.

More information can be found by searching around the web, that's just my understanding on the matter (I could be wrong but I'm pretty sure that's what's going on). Check out something like deadlinehollywood.com for info on stuff like that.
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i agree i want my tv back
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Well im glad they aren't picketing the Grammys
Does anyone know what they mean about the aniamtion and reality thing?
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Lets hope that this will come to a speedy resolution so our shows can get back on track!!!!
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