Writers, Studios to enter 3rd day of negotiations to end strike

September 22, 2023

The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studio CEOs were set to enter a third day of direct talks Friday, hoping to end a months-long writers’ strike. 

While the two sides have yet to close a deal, sources say both are open and willing to continue the negotiations.

For the first time amid the standoff several studio CEOs, including Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Disney’s Bob Iger, Universal’s Donna Langly and Warner Bros Discovery’s David Zaslav were present at the bargaining table this week. 

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

The 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 WGA 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.”

In mid-July, actors in Hollywood’s largest union, SAG-AFTRA, which claims some 160,000 members, joined the writers in their walk-out, putting major portions of the entertainment industry in limbo.

In a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Warner Bros Discovery said it could suffer a $500 million hit because of the work stoppages.

PHOTO: Writers on picket line, New York City

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