Apparently, Iger wasn’t the only one frustrated during ongoing negotiations over the strike — in August, talks slowed when neither side would make a counteroffer. According to WGA negotiators, the studios basically said the guild should take the deal they were given and live with it: “We were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was.” From then, the guild just stopped talking to the studios at all, but apparently, a few showrunners got irritated that WGA negotiators weren’t making enough of an effort.
As one unnamed showrunner told THR, “Clearly people like Kenya [Barris, showrunner of ‘black-ish’] wanted information. There was no coup. We were just asking the questions that were on everybody’s minds. The thing with showrunners is, they’re CEOs in their own right, running massive corporations with huge deals at studios. Noah Hawley, for example, has two shows and employs a thousand people. We were all doing our part to get people away from the brink of bankruptcy and back to work.” Another anonymous showrunner agreed: “The WGA dug their heels in and felt [the AMPTP] had to call us. Then Chris Keyser, [co-chair of the WGA’s negotiating committee], started to hear from Teamsters, as well, to do something. It wasn’t anger about the strike or being asked to fold; it was anger about the lack of attempt to restart things.”