AMPTP Reaches Out to WGA Chief Negotiator in Effort to Resume Talks

Carol Lombardini, president of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, reached out to her counterpart at the Writers Guild of America in an effort to restart negotiations, sources told Variety on Tuesday.

That is the first communication between the two sides since May 1, when talks collapsed and the WGA voted to go on strike. The WGA informed its members of the outreach on Tuesday evening.

“The AMPTP, through Carol Lombardini, reached out to the WGA today and requested a meeting this Friday to discuss negotiations,” the union stated. “We’ll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information. As we’ve said before, be wary of rumors. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us.”

The AMPTP, which bargains on behalf of the major studios, has been having internal meetings over the last few days as it seeks a path forward. Those discussions lead to the decision that Lombardini would reach out to Stutzman and propose a one-on-one meeting for later this week to work out the details on how the sides can resume contract negotiations.

The WGA and the AMPTP remain far apart on a wide range of issues. The studio group rejected the guild’s proposals for a TV staffing minimum and viewership-based residuals, among other items.

Mike Schur, a member of the WGA negotiating committee, told Variety last week that the guild’s plan was for the AMPTP to make the first call.

“The plan is for them to call us on the phone and ask us to sit down,” he said. “We’re not calling them.”

WGA leaders have also made clear that the AMPTP will have to agree to negotiate on its full agenda, or the talks won’t be very productive.

“We have made it clear that the things we’re asking for are absolutely necessary,” said David Goodman, co-chair of the negotiating committee. “Until they agree with that premise, there isn’t going to be a conversation that’s going to be fruitful.”

Leaders of SAG-AFTRA, which called a strike on July 13, have also said that they are open to resuming talks at any point.

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