The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reconvene talks in Los Angeles on April 17. Representatives from the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) will also be present at the table.
The negotiations at the Writers Guild of America West headquarters will be watched closely. Speculation over the possibility of concurrent strikes by writers and actors continues, although it has been tempered by recent considerations about the slowing economy. The SAG talks will commence on May 10 in Los Angeles, but as of April 13, no location had been finalized.
A Screen Actors Guild source told Playbill On-Line that “If there is a strike, it will be for the same reason that there was a commercial strike last year- meaning that the other side wanted rollbacks.”
As reported, at a SAG plenary at the Sheraton Universal in Burbank, Calif. held March 30-April 1, a delay on reducing the size of the guild’s board of directors was announced. Certain political rumblings were also heard concerning the Los Angeles-based Performers Alliance and its future influence in the guild. There were also calls for serious reform, with stars like Kevin Spacey and Richard Dreyfuss suggesting greater transparency in guild proceedings; Spacey even mentioned that the press could be invited to attend certain meetings.
Betting that some studios want some form of strike--if only to initiate force majeure clauses that would allow employers to cut costs by terminating certain contracts during a labor action--actors have been scheduling their work in theatre and film with an eye towards the likelihood of labor action(s) this summer. —By Murdoch McBride