Rushfield: Who'll Blink First?
In a strike, a breakdown of which faction has time on its side
My Countdown to the Abyss series examines the high stakes of the looming WGA strike as the May 1 deadline approaches. Earlier posts, including 19 Days to Go, 55 Days to the Abyss, 62 Days to the Abyss and 70 Days to the Abyss, are available to paid subscribers. Love to hear your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here we are approaching the crossroads. Twelve days left until a walkout. If anyone doubted that the writers were willing to go down the road, let the 97.8 percent authorization vote dispel that.
Now the real works begins, or could begin. Writers like showdowns and in the past round, these final days were when the deal came together. Last time, agreement seemed completely impossible right up until the minute it happened. Could the same happen again? Now that the studios know that the strike has been authorized, might they place a decent offer on the table? Might the Guild feel that whatever is on the table at this moment is likely to be as good as it gets and take it? Anything is possible.
But from all we know and have heard, the studios are not about to concede very much and the writers aren’t going to walk away empty-handed. And a DGA and SAG negotiation is waiting in the wings to boot. So here we are.
A walkout now seems extremely likely, so we can skip ahead a bit and start toying with the question: where and how would it end?
From senior-level conversations around town, my most likely scenario remains: