Sunday, May 07, 2023
Hollywood’s top showrunners met to address the ongoing WGA strike amid demands from studios to resume work.
The union follows emails sent out by majority of the studios, including Warner Bros. Discovery, Disney and Paramount asking showrunners to continue to produce.
However, the emails had the inverse effect amid show cancellations and delays.
“Those studio emails have had the opposite intended effect now,” One showrunner attending the meeting told Deadline.
“Now we are more united, more convinced than ever that there is no non-writing aspect of what we do.”
Attendees at the meeting which was held at the WGA Theater in Beverly Hills and included Damon Lindelof, Shawn Ryan, Steve Levitan, Justin Spitzer, David E. Kelley, Bill Lawrence and David Steinberg.
Showrunners have warned that everything they do is writing and many have said that they will not be producing during the strike.
The meeting further solidified their unity and resolve to not perform non-writing duties. The gathering also featured top WGA negotiators, including Chris Keyser and Ellen Stutzman.
Showrunner of The Walking Dead, Glen Mazzara, confessed he stopped work on producing AMC’s Beacon 23, which is currently in post-production.
“I’m no longer getting my weekly. I probably could have said, ‘I’m still going to produce’. No, I support the guild. I’m not producing. I’m not in contact with the folks working on my show,” he said.
“I would ask all show runners to stop working on their shows completely. We want the strike to be as painful for the companies as possible so that it can be as short as possible so we can get back to work.”
Said emails by top studios include one from Warner Bros Discovery division, which read:
“If you are a WGA member, HBO/HBO Max respects your membership in the WGA, and we will not do anything to place you in jeopardy of WGA rules.”
“However, we believe certain services, such as participating in the cast process and/or contributing to non-writing production, and post-production work are clear examples of non-WGA required services that should continue to be rendered during this time,” it continued.
Disney sent out a similar notice.