Studios, WGA restart talks this week

Hollywood producers and writers are set to return to the bargaining table Thursday to try and hammer out a contract amid historic entertainment industry strikes.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Warner Bros. Discover, Disney, Netflix and NBCUniversal, will resume talks Thursday with the Writers Guild of America as the WGA’s strike nears its 150th day.

The reason for the meeting hasn’t been disclosed, but the parties issued a joint statement signaling progress.

Even if the writers secure a fair deal this week, no movies will be made without stars. The Screen Actors Guild, whose members walked off the job in mid-July, likely are communicating with the WGA since many of their demands are similar.

Both unions are demanding changes to the way residual payments work. Most actors during the age of syndication could make a living from residual payments from TV or film work. Now in the age of streaming, residuals have dropped to near zero for many actors and writers.

Workers are also concerned about artificial intelligence and want to make it difficult for studios to replace actors and writers in the movie and TV production process.

The WGA, striking for the 143rd day, is approaching the record for the longest writers’ walkout in the U.S. The record stands at 154 days, reached by striking writers in 1988.

Source: WT