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Writers Guild, studios' bargaining session ends with progress, but no deal

Wendy Lee and Meg James, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

LOS ANGELES — The Writers Guild of America and major studio representatives met Friday for the third day this week, as throngs of film and television screenwriters hit picket lines in a show of solidarity and hope that the sides would reach a deal to end the epic strike that has thrown tens of thousands of people out of work.

There was still no agreement. Around 8:30 p.m. Pacific time, entertainment company chiefs, studio negotiators and WGA negotiating committee members wrapped up another marathon bargaining day, multiple people close to the negotiations told the Los Angeles Times.

Progress was made to close the gaps remaining between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the major Hollywood studios in labor negotiations.

Representatives of the WGA and AMPTP had no comment Friday.

It’s unclear when the two teams might return to the bargaining table at AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks.

The two sides have been negotiating for a new contract that would end the writers’ strike, which has stretched for more than 140 days, crippling much of the entertainment economy by shutting down scripted TV and movie production.


While the recent string of lengthy talks have shown progress, the writers and the studios had yet to reach compromises on at least one or two key issues by the end of Friday’s gathering. Throughout the day, the conversations centered on minimum staffing in writers’ rooms and streaming data disclosures for the purposes of establishing a payment system based on viewership. Friday’s meeting began at about 11 a.m.

The duration of the strikes and the drama surrounding the negotiations has been a roller coaster for workers, including writers, actors, directors and below-the-line crew, who are waiting for a deal to come together so they can return to their trades.

The sides began negotiating Wednesday for the first time since late August. In a sign of the studios’ eagerness to end the work stoppage, top executives from four entertainment giants joined the meetings: Walt Disney Co.’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley.

Negotiations have taken place during all-day sessions, leading to renewed optimism that a deal could be reached as soon as this week despite the thorniness of the remaining issues, though sources cautioned it remained unlikely that an agreement would be hammered out before the weekend. Monday is the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.


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