The possibility of a writers’ strike is one of the conversations dominating Hollywood right now, but Adam Conover, creator and star of truTV’s Adam Ruins Everything and a WGA West board member, has urged members to filter out “misinformation” and “provocative claims” ahead of talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).
In a video posted to the WGA West’s YouTube page (see below), Conover, who also created Netflix’s limited series The G Word with Adam Conover, broke down what’s going to happen over the next few months ahead of May 1, when the guild’s basic agreement expires.
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“For the past three years, our staff has been researching and analyzing industry trends and working with the board members and officers you elected to track member concerns. We do this through one-on-one conversations with members, organizing meetings, show visits and our member survey, every response to which is read by multiple staff and elected board members so that we know what you the members say your needs are,” he said.
The negotiating committee, on which he sits alongside the likes of David Simon, David Shore, Kay Cannon and Mike Schur, has been meeting since December to “sort through all this information to discuss potential bargaining proposals and to craft a set of broad objectives that reflect what members have been telling us they need”.
This is known as the Pattern of Demands. The last time there was a strike – in 2007/08 this was unveiled in May ahead of talks in July.
“However, the pattern is just a broad set of objectives. We need your feedback to make sure the specific proposals we’re crafting reflect your priorities, and we get that feedback at member meetings. As many of you already know, attending these meetings is one of the most powerful ways you can participate in our guilds’ democracy,” he added.
Conover revealed that writers’ meetings will begin in February.
After this, the negotiating committee will deliberate and finalize its proposals and send them to the AMPTP ahead of talks.
“Now be prepared, the AMPTP’s initial proposals always consist almost entirely of rollbacks and cuts to our compensation and other important protections and benefits,” he said.
As networks already start preparing for the worst-case scenario, such as NBC’s decision to hand an early renewal, and likely last season, to drama series La Brea, Conover said that the best way for writers to “avoid misinformation and to learn what’s actually happening is to stay in contact with our guild”.
“But the most important thing to remember is that we will not accept a deal or walk away from one without your vote and your input. We do these things together and we can’t do them without you,” he added.
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