Credit always needs to be given where it’s due, and this bulletin comes from Nikke Finke’s “Deadline Hollywood” blog, where she has learned — through her variegated above-the-line sources –that a Federal Mediator has been called in for 10 a.m. Sunday, to meet with both the AMPTP and WGA’s negotiators.
What is not known is if the mediator was “called in” by one of the sides, though her headline indicates the mediator insinuated himself, or whether this “talk” will be in any way binding. It would seem to increase the odds — on the surface — of folks in Hollywood at least going back to work on Monday under the old contract, but we’ll see.
The studio owners, she also reported, rejected any involvement from L.A.’s mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who’d offered some mediation chores of his own. Still charismatic, despite his recent marital imbroglio, it may be that the producers are playing chess two steps ahead: They may know they don’t want to settle anytime soon, and rejecting any settlement crafted by Villaraigosa would make them look even more flinty, and perhaps take away their “the writers are hurting everyone” angle that they’re playing.
So the town waits through the weekend. Has there ever been a better time, in recent memory, to reread “Day of the Locust?”