Contract talks to resume between striking Hollywood writers and studios

LOS ANGELES — Contract talks that had been stalled are poised to resume between striking Hollywood writers and the major studios and streaming services, both groups announced Thursday, one day after a large demonstration by actors and writers.

In a short statement sent on day 136 of the writers strike, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said that it was working to schedule a meeting next week. The group said the Writers Guild of America had reached out with a request to restart talks.

“Every member company of the AMPTP is committed and eager to reach a fair deal, and to working together with the WGA to end the strike,” the alliance said.

The WGA communicated the development to its approximately 11,000 members several hours later.

“Dear members, The WGA and AMPTP are in the process of scheduling a time to get back in the room. In solidarity, WGA Negotiating Committee.”

Hollywood’s actors are also on strike, but they would conduct separate negotiations with the AMPTP. It’s the first joint strike by both unions in several decades.

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The development comes as progress to end the strike seemed stalled — something neither side wanted. Executives at the major television networks were starting to consider how to salvage a fall broadcast season to include original material. Meanwhile, many actors and writers have begun running low on funds despite a variety of groups set up to assist them.

Still, the writers and the studios and streamers still have significant differences to bridge. These include writers’ demand that a certain number of writers be employed on every show, at a level studios and streamers haven’t agreed to. There’s also disagreement about how to handle residuals, especially on streaming services. Writers also have been concerned about language around artificial intelligence to ensure their work is not cannibalized by AI entities.

Pressure was also coming from investors and Wall Street amid concerns that studios could post major losses due to the strike, which is biting into California’s economy overall.

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