Here is a round-up of the best news coverage of the 2023 WGA/SAG-AFTRA Strike from Friday, September 15th, 2023. Links will be added and updated throughout the day:
* Showrunner Meeting With WGA Leadership Canceled As Guild Plans Ahead For Studio Talks (Deadline)
The showrunner meeting, which was also thought to include Sam Esmail, was described not as a sign of discontent among the guild, as rumored by some, but rather a chance to bring more high-profile folks into the process as the writers strike has moved into its fourth month.
* Some Shows Return To Air Despite Writers Strike (Axios)
"It has been five months, and it is time to bring people back to work. The writers have important issues that I sympathize with, and hope they are addressed to their satisfaction, but they are not the only people with issues, problems, and concerns," he wrote, adding that much of the show’s staff "is struggling mightily."
* WGA Insists Drew Barrymore 'Should Not Be On The Air' During Strike (Deadline)
"I believe there’s nothing I can do or say in this moment to make it OK,” Barrymore said on Friday afternoon, holding back tears in a video posted on Instagram. “I wanted to own a decision, so that it wasn’t a PR-protected situation, and I would just take full responsibility for my actions."
* WGAW President Addresses 'Distinction' In Criticism Of Bill Maher Resuming Production During Strike: 'There’s Definitely Some Anger' (The Hollywood Reporter)
"There is a distinction between Bill Maher and the others because he is a Writers Guild member. The others, I believe, are SAG members, and they may have waivers to do the shows. I’m not sure. But he’s a Writers Guild member, and he’s going back to work, so yes, a lot of people are saying that’s scabbing," she said. "There’s definitely some anger that he’s doing that."
* Entertainment Partners Layoffs: Dozens Cut At Residuals Distributing Company (Deadline)
The company that cuts a lot of Hollywood's residual checks cut dozens and dozens of employees this week. Entertainment Partners laid off around 70 people in the past week.
* Dispatches From The Picket Lines: Naomi Watts & 'Billions' Samantha Mathis Take NYC As George Lopez Leads Reunion In LA (Deadline)
While the WGA and the AMPTP are scheduling talks for next week, SAG-AFTRA and the studios have not restarted talks since actors joined the writers on strike in July. Mathis, who is on the union’s national board and negotiating committee, told Deadline, "I'm here in solidarity with my union. We are out here because we need fair wages. The offer that was left on the table from the AMPTP is unacceptable and would keep us in line with wages from 2020."
* Drew Barrymore Gives Emotional Apology to WGA, But Her Show Will Continue: ‘There Is Nothing I Can Do That Will Make This OK (Variety)
A tearful Barrymore continued, “I know there is just nothing I can do that will make this OK to those that it is not OK with. I fully accept that. I fully understand that. There are so many reasons why this is so complex, and I just want everyone to know my intentions have never been in a place to upset or hurt anymore. It’s not who I am. I’ve been through so many ups and downs in my life, and this is one of them,” she said through tears.
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