Several reports claim that an end to the four-month long Writers Guild of America strike is imminent. The New York Times reports that “a tentative agreement” may come “as early as [this] week.” But W.G.A. members and leaders are telling striking writers that they might not want to lay down their picket signs just yet.
W.G.A. presidents Patric Verrone and Michael Winship tell it to ’em straight: “The facts: we are still in talks and do not yet have a contract. When and if a tentative agreement is reached, the first thing we will do is alert our membership with an e-mail message. Until then, please disregard rumors about either the existence of an agreement or its terms.”
Larry Gelbart, veteran comedy writer of M*A*S*H and Tootsie, also sent out a message to his fellow W.G.A. members:
In all my decades as a member of the WGA I’ve learned a few lessons about strikes and negotiations, the most important being that it’s never over ’til it’s over, no matter how much the lady singer might weigh. As fellow and sister members of the Guild, you know how important the issues are for all of our futures, and for those to whom we will one day hand our pens. Over the coming days you will be getting calls asking you to join in to continue with the picketing. I ask you to set aside all the rumors, all the second-guessing, I ask you to set these aside and pick up a picket sign instead. I cannot stress how vital it is for all of us to show our commitment to our leadership during this current round of negotiations. Thank you.