Showrunner Meeting With WGA Leadership Canceled As Guild Plans Ahead For Studio Talks

A meeting between a group of leading showrunners including Kenya Barris and Noah Hawley and WGA leadership has been canceled.

The meeting, which became a hot topic of conversation around Hollywood earlier this week, has been pushed after the WGA and AMPTP agreed to hold new talks aimed at ending the work stoppage that has been going on since May.

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Deadline understands that the cancellation of the meeting, which was set to happen today, was a mutual decision as the guild tries to figure out its plan for its latest showdown with the studios.

Yesterday, the AMPTP and the WGA revealed that they would schedule talks next week.

The AMPTP said that the two parties are “working to schedule a meeting next week.”

“On Wednesday, September 13, the WGA reached out to the AMPTP and asked for a meeting to move negotiations forward. We have agreed and are working to schedule a meeting next week. Every member company of the AMPTP is committed and eager to reach a fair deal, and to working together with the WGA to end the strike,” the studio alliance said.

Not longer afterward, the WGA said, “The WGA and AMPTP are in the process of scheduling a time to get back in the room.”

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.

“This was meant to be an information session and not meant to offer anything more than help,” a source close to events told Deadline. “That is still the intention so we can all get a fair deal to get back to work.”

The meeting between Barris and Hawley and the guild originally was intended to take place in West Hollywood on Friday, September 8, and then was rescheduled to Monday before it was canceled.

The cancellation was much less dramatic than characterized by some and was in part due to scheduling issues and also as a result of optics. Neither side wanted it to appear that the group was divided, which would play into the AMPTP’s attempts to split the parties, and they mutually agreed to pull the plug before setting a new meeting for the end of this week.

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