It’s fitting that these Writers Guild negotiations stretched nearly into Yom Kippur, because both sides had a lot to atone for. Whoever in the studio/streamer brain trust thought it was cool to announce Saturday’s revised proposal as a “last, best, and final offer” definitely should have known that the framing would enrage the striking writers. The WGA will now need to sell the tentative deal reached today to the media and to members who have endured months of pain—and the last thing they wanted is the perception of acquiescing to a final offer.
Meanwhile, the WGA campaign was getting nastier. Rather than celebrate the obvious progress, members spent the weekend lashing out at the studios and the media. In perhaps the ugliest move yet, guild members tweeted at Mira Sorvino last week that her father, the late actor Paul Sorvino, would be “disgusted” by her appearance on Dancing with the Stars. No matter that SAG-AFTRA—which, unlike WGA, is the guild that Mira is actually a member of—specifically endorsed her participation because DWTS falls under a non-struck contract. Since when is it okay to use someone’s dead parent to shame them into not appearing on a reality show?
Regardless, this standoff has thankfully ended. According to sources in and around the final negotiations, no voices were raised, and nobody stormed out of the room during this final stretch. But the studios made it clear that if there wasn’t a deal this weekend—and preferably before the Yom Kippur sundown—they were planning to move on to SAG-AFTRA. The in-person meetings of the past week gave way to Zoom yesterday and today. The studio side complained that the guild didn’t know how to close, that they kept coming back with more and more and more. The guild complained that they hit a wall on Thursday, when the studios outright said they wouldn’t negotiate on a couple favored issues. Both sides, under incredible pressure from their constituencies after a 146 day strike, recognized that the deadline was today or potentially weeks from now.