Striking writers have not been to work for more than 100 days now, and as we learned on Thursday, another meeting is set for Friday.
The negotiating committee of the Writers Guild of America revealed they will sit down with producers this afternoon at around 2 p.m.
But, can the considerable ill will that has developed between the writers and producers be set aside?
Christopher Keyser, the co-chair of the WGA’s negotiating committee, had much to say about the 100-day mark and more in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“The WGA is not particularly interested in playing games,” he told the outlet. “Talking is the only way forward. There’s a sense somehow that you label something 100 days like it’s some kind of celebration. It’s an anniversary of shame for the AMPTP; let’s be clear about that.”
He then touched on the report that studio execs plan on “starving out” the striking writers.
The last writers’ strike was from November 2007 to February 2008 and it took 27 days of talking to figure out an agreement.
However, there was a behind-the-scenes figure who was able to grab the ear of both the writers and producers. That was Peter Chernin, who was the CEO of the Fox Group at the time. He was one of the key go-betweens to advance talks between writers and producers.
Well, now it appears he’s back.
Matt Belloni of Puck News had this scoop overnight in his newsletter.
“The Times reported last month that Chernin was telling people he hadn’t even been asked to get involved. Well, now he’s involved,” Belloni wrote. “I’m told that over the past couple weeks, he’s been quietly conferring and advising both sides, with a focus on the WGA strike. Hopefully, he’s as persuasive as he was 15 years ago.”
Chernin’s rep reportedly declined to comment on the matter.
“We will keep our fingers crossed for this get-together today at 2 p.m.,” Sam Rubin said during the KTLA 5 Morning News. “Both sides have agreed to a so-called press blackout, but this is the most permeable blackout ever. So, perhaps we will have word of progress or not at some point later this evening.”
The WGA has been on strike since early May. SAG-AFTRA members joined them on the picket lines officially in July when talks between them and movie execs failed.