Could the long-awaited end be near for the strike that has brought the TV and film industry in Chicago and across the country to a halt? Cautious optimism is rising steadily as Hollywood writers and producers could be approaching an agreement to cease the strike as high-level talks entered a third day Friday.
A source close to the negotiations reported to NBC News that talks heading into Friday were “productive” and that there was hope for “more progress” as high-level executives attended the negotiations for the first time since the strike began months ago.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) met Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, a spokesperson for the WGA confirmed earlier this week in a message to members.
One reason for the progress might be a change in the executives at the table. According to NBC News, until now, talks have been led by top AMPTP staffers and labor relations representatives, but studio heads, including Disney’s Bob Iger and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, have now taken a seat at the table, the source said — signaling a potentially significant shift.
CNBC had reported that the two sides had hoped to finalize a deal Thursday, but talks continued into Friday.
WGA members have been on strike since early May. Actors joined the picket line in July in a separate dispute, bringing production on many Hollywood television shows and films to a halt. The negotiations have centered on issues including pay, working conditions, writers’ demands for greater royalties for their work, known in the industry as residuals, and stricter protections against the use of artificial intelligence.
The bottom line is the entertainment industry is heading into the weekend with hope that an agreement may be right around the corner for the writers… and the actors soon thereafter.
Check back here at SCREEN for the latest news as WGA and SAG-AFTRA forge ahead. You can also click right here to subscribe to our weekly email newsletter.