Striking writers & studios to hold first talks in three months

August 2, 2023

Striking Hollywood writers were set to hold talks Friday with the studios for the first time in three months.

Some 11,500 unionized movie and television writers with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) went on strike in May after contract negotiations with the trade association Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which bargains on behalf of studios, broke down.

In mid-July, actors in Hollywood’s largest union, SAG-AFTRA, which claims some 160,000 members, joined the writers in their walk-out. 

The writers strike’s main sticking points reportedly include union proposals that would require companies to staff television shows with a certain number of writers for a specific period of time. The union has asserted that writers face an “existential crisis” amid the emerging dominance of streaming services which the union says has led to the reduction of media writer-producer pay 4%—or 23% when adjusted for inflation.

The studios, meanwhile, have countered that they’ve offered “generous increases in compensation for writers.”

The WGA’s negotiating committee told its members in a statement Tuesday, “We’ll be back in communication with you sometime after [Friday’s] meeting with further information.”

An AMPTP spokesperson, meanwhile, said the studio alliance was committed to finding a mutually beneficial deal.

It’s estimated that the striking artists, whose walkouts have shut down TV and film productions nationwide, could ultimately put a more-than $3 billion dent in the U.S. economy.

President Biden weighed in about a week after the writers initially went on strike, saying they deserve a “fair deal.”

PHOTO: Writers on picket line, New York City

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