Striking Writers, Hollywood Studios to Meet Again Thursday

FILE - Strikers carry signs as writers and actors staged a solidarity march through Hollywood to Paramount Studios on Sept. 13, 2023 amid a halt in movie and TV production as the dual labor shortages continue.

Negotiators for the striking Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studios will meet again on Thursday to try to resolve a nearly five-month standoff that has disrupted film and television production.

The Writers Guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Walt Disney, Netflix and other media companies, held talks for the first time in about a month on Wednesday.

Early on Wednesday evening, the two sides issued a joint statement saying simply that they "met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow."

To help spark a deal, Wednesday's meeting was attended by Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos, Comcast's NBCUniversal Studio Group Chairman Donna Langley and Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav, according to a source close to the studios.

People in the room described the session as "encouraging," the source said, and the four executives are expected to return to the talks on Thursday.

CNBC, citing people close to the negotiations, said writers and producers were near an agreement and hoped to reach a deal on Thursday. But if a deal is not reached the strike could last through the end of the year, CNBC reported.

The Writers Guide went on strike in May after negotiations reached an impasse over compensation, minimum staffing of writers' rooms and the role of artificial intelligence, among other issues.

The SAG-AFTRA actors union called a work stoppage in July, putting Hollywood in the midst of two simultaneous strikes for the first time in 63 years. No talks are currently scheduled between the actors and the studios.