For the third consecutive day, Hollywood’s striking writers and studio executives are set to engage in intense negotiations aimed at resolving the nearly 150-day standoff that has gripped the entertainment industry.
In a late Thursday message to its members, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) encouraged its members to persist on picket lines, emphasizing the importance of their solidarity and support. Simultaneously, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are gearing up for another round of negotiations.
“The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow,” the guild stated in its message. “Your Negotiating Committee appreciates all the messages of solidarity and support we have received the last few days and ask as many of you as possible to come out to the picket lines tomorrow.”
On Thursday, writers and top executives from the four major Hollywood studios engaged in negotiations for over 10 hours, although they failed to reach a resolution. While progress was made during these intense discussions, a deal to end the historic Hollywood work stoppage has yet to be finalized, according to a source with knowledge of the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The negotiations, which have seen both sides issue a rare joint statement indicating ongoing discussions, involve prominent figures such as Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley.
The protracted strike, which began on May 2, has now reached its 143rd day, placing it within two weeks of becoming the longest strike in the WGA’s history, surpassing the 154-day strike in 1988. The strike escalated when SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA on strike on July 14.
The key demands from both sides include improved wages, residuals for streaming content, and safeguards against the use of artificial intelligence in creative roles.
Hollywood faces challenges as revenue from traditional television decreases, and streaming services struggle to turn a profit. Many writers are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain themselves under the current economic and pay structure of the industry, with fewer job opportunities and reduced pay on offer.
Moreover, the rise of artificial intelligence in content creation has writers seeking assurances that their craft will not be replaced by machines. Studio management, while attempting to reach a mutually beneficial deal, contends that some of the union’s demands, such as minimum staffing levels and employment duration, are financially unsustainable.
Even if a resolution is reached soon, the industry’s full recovery remains uncertain, as the SAG-AFTRA actors’ union continues its strike, with negotiations yet to yield substantial progress. The implications of these protracted strikes have a far-reaching impact on the future of Hollywood and the entertainment landscape as a whole.