I was in a college classroom Friday afternoon, blathering to some nineteen and twenty-year-olds about the animation business. Also about the Writers Guild Strike.
I said in my most authoritive voice that "the strike would be three to eight months long." So of course later on Friday this happened:
WGA and studio reps are headed back to the bargaining table. The parties put out brief statements at about 8 p.m. Friday, saying contract talks would resume Nov. 26...
So here's to my weak psychic abilities and the hope that the WGA/AMPTP negotiations are short, focussed and successful. Unsurprisingly, finanancial analysts like Fred Schruers at Portfolio.com is a tad more jaded:
Close observers of the writers' strike, with its recriminatory and despairing overtones, might be excused for not turning cartwheels over the mutual announcement that the WGA and the AMPTP are planning to go back into negotiations on Monday. It's a step, but only that. It would seem that neither the writers nor the companies have suffered enough in these early stages to overcome the doggedness of their divergent agendas.
If one common estimate of seven or eight more months may be a somewhat inflated product of the current ill will, certainly there's not much hope of huge progress in the post-Thanksgiving session--though we're now seing the first of the companies' "force majeure" notifications, as they seize the occasion to shed talent (and paychecks) from their rosters as they've been expected to do.
Once the bottom lines get that useful haircut, the companies will have what some cynics say they wanted from the strike ...
Who know? Maybe Mr. Schruers is right. Now that the conglomerates have cleared away uwwanted brush, they'll be ready to tie a new agreement up with a pretty bow.