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A resolution in sight? Hollywood strike negotiations enters fourth day

This week, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resumed talks, but no deal has been announced yet.
A resolution in sight? Hollywood strike negotiations enters fourth day
Posted at 8:07 PM, Sep 23, 2023

Negotiations continued in Hollywood into the weekend after top executives met with the Writers Guild in hopes of reaching a deal and ending the strike.

There’s still a lot that needs to be figured out before we can see some of America’s favorite TV shows back on the air.

There’s been a lot more movement this week than we’ve seen since the strike started back in May, keeping many optimistic.

Thousands of workers in the TV industry remain on strike for better working conditions as talks resumed this week between the Writers Guild of America, which represents more than 11,000 writers, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

The two groups have been engaged in talks since Wednesday, but no deal has been announced.

Wednesday’s meeting reportedly included heads of top media companies like Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos and Disney CEO Bob Anger, which many see as a sign of hope.

"With the CEO's there, actually in negotiations, I feel like they realize, like, 'oh, I actually need to be present and actually hear what the writers and our workers are saying' because I don't think they really thought we were serious. I don't think they thought or valued our voices at first, and they thought like, 'oh, they'll get tired.' Like, no, we won't," said Morgan Grain, a WGA member.

Members of the WGA have been on strike for over 140 days, demanding better wages, higher residuals, and overall protections for writers, especially when it comes to artificial intelligence.

SEE MORE: New strike study shows highest walkout rate in two decades

"It's not like there's any easy answers to this; it's not just a little bit more money here or there. The key issues, while there's the issues of the writers and insiders stuff, but getting some sort of residual structure for streaming, this is huge. This is big,” said Jonathan Kuntz, a UCLA Film and Television Professor. “This would be precedent-setting. And then finally, there's the issue of AI, which is what's bothering everybody. That's the great unknown for the future. In many ways, the writers guild is out there trying to figure out a way to manage and control this new thing that threatens to put a lot of people out of business."

Some TV shows, including “The Talk” and “The Drew Barrymore Show,” have paused plans to return after receiving backlash amid the writers strike.

If a deal is struck, some daytime and late-night talk shows could return.

However, production on many projects won’t be able to take off until the actors’ union, known as SAG-AFTRA, which represents about 160,000 actors and is also demanding better wages and job protections, also reaches a deal.

SAG-AFTRA members went on strike in Hollywood just a few months after writers went on strike in May. There is no word yet on when the SAG-AFTRA strike will end.

And we could see another strike, this time against video game companies.

SAG-AFTRA President Fran Dresccher is urging members to authorize a strike against the video game industry in an effort to protect video game performers.

Authorizing a strike doesn’t necessarily mean there will be one, but it does give the board the authority to call a strike if needed. Voting on that is set to close on Monday.

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