WGA strike: Writers Guild and Hollywood negotiations in ‘final phase’



CNN

The striking writers and Hollywood studios are in the “final stage” of negotiations and hope to reach an agreement to end the historic work stoppage that has crippled the entertainment industry by the end of the weekend, two people familiar with the matter told CNN.

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers spent Saturday negotiating for the fourth straight day. If a preliminary agreement is reached, it will still need to be ratified by ordinary members before it can enter into force.

The Big Four studio heads – Warner Bros.’s boss – are no longer in business. Discovery’s David Zaslav, Disney chief Bob Iger, Netflix co-chairman Ted Sarandos, and NBCUniversal studio chief Donna Langley — are in the Sherman Oaks room on Saturday afternoon, one person. Which indicates that almost all major issues have been resolved. The person stressed that studio heads remained fully engaged in the process, despite not being directly in the room.

Spokespeople for AMPTP and the WGA did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The WGA, which has more than 11,000 members, has been on strike since May 2, with the work stoppage reaching its 145th day on Saturday. The strike falls within two weeks of the longest walkout in the union’s history, which lasted 154 days in 1988. Many productions were halted even before SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA in the July 14 strike.

Negotiations between the WGA and AMPTP included disputes over wages, worker protections, and artificial intelligence.

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Warner Bros. Discovery is the parent company of CNN.

Even if a preliminary agreement is reached, it will still need to be ratified by ordinary members before it can enter into force. Even then, without reaching an agreement with SAG-AFTRA, which represents about 160,000 actors, ending the WGA strike by itself would do little to resume halted production.

The WGA strike began on May 2as the work stoppage reached its 145th day on Saturday, putting it two weeks away from the longest strike in the union’s history, which lasted 154 days in 1988. Many productions have been halted even before that. SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA in the July 14 strike.

Both sides have similar sets of demands, including better wages, residual payments from streaming services for their work, and job protections against the use of artificial intelligence.

Chris Isidore, Michelle Watson and Taylor Romaine contributed to this report

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