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Hollywood strike talks extend into third day

As the entertainment industry anxiously awaited updates, no formal agreement was reached on the 144th day of the strike.



Hollywood strike talks extend into third day
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Los Angeles: Hollywood's labor dispute continues as striking writers and top studio executives convened for a third consecutive day on Friday, announcing their intention to extend discussions into Saturday in their quest to end a work stoppage that has paralyzed film and TV production for months.

As the entertainment industry anxiously awaited updates, no formal agreement was reached on the 144th day of the strike.

In a statement issued early on Saturday, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) confirmed the plan to reconvene on Saturday for further negotiations.

Prominent industry leaders including Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav, and Donna Langley, chairman of Comcast's NBCUniversal Studio Group, were active participants in the talks with the WGA.

Representatives from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, acting on behalf of the studios, refrained from offering comments.

Simultaneously, in response to an appeal from WGA negotiators on Thursday, union members rallied in significant numbers at picket lines outside the studios while negotiations unfolded.

Among the attendees outside Netflix on Friday was Matthew Weiner, the renowned creator and writer of "Mad Men." Like others, Weiner expressed optimism that the ongoing talks signaled progress toward a resolution.

"I'm hopeful," Weiner commented on the potential end of the strike. "I would like to return to work and begin mending these relationships."

The strike, initiated in May, saw approximately 11,500 WGA members walk off the job, demanding improved compensation and residuals within the context of the streaming TV era. They also sought restrictions on the utilization of artificial intelligence.

Producer and WGA member Al Septien, who joined the picket line outside Netflix on Friday, emphasized the desire to return to work but underscored the necessity of securing a contract that met fair and just standards for writers.

"We've been out here for an extended period. We are not inclined to accept a contract that falls short of being fair and beneficial to the writers," he stated.

The strike by the SAG-AFTRA actors union, initiated in July, further exacerbated the challenges facing the entertainment industry.