After 144 days on the picket lines, writers and studios have narrowed negotiations to two issues, TheWrap has learned: artificial intelligence and the minimum staffing levels in writers’ rooms. A tentative deal is expected this weekend on a new labor contract between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
That would mean a potential ending to one of the two strikes that has shut down Hollywood through the summer.
Talks resumed between the guild and AMPTP on Wednesday, a restart that was preceded by nearly a month of stalled negotiations and finger-pointing between the two sides as to who should make the next counterproposal. AMPTP’s first counterproposal sent to the guild on Aug. 11 was described by the guild in a memo to members as “not nothing, nor nearly enough.”
But escalating financial pressure on the studios from months of production shutdowns along with urging from showrunners concerned about the financial insecurity of their writers and crew members brought the two sides back to the table for several days of talks.
Four studio CEOs — Disney’s Bob Iger, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos and Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav — have been present throughout the negotiations at the AMPTP’s Sherman Oaks headquarters.
Mike Roe contributed to this report.