Discovery NYC office on July 13, 2023 in New York City. Getty Images
The Writers Guild of America said Monday that the union will resume negotiations with Hollywood studios on Wednesday as a shutdown of productions across the TV and movie business drags on.
The announcement comes on the 139th day of the strike, which began May 2. The union has told its members that they should continue to picket as talks resume. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (which represents the companies) confirmed the talks, but did not offer any further comments. The strikes have also caused financial damage to production companies.
Warner Bros. Discovery
warned investors last week of a $300 million to $500 million hit to its earnings, due to the ongoing strikes.
There may be more labor unrest to come in Hollywood, too. Marvel Studios’ VFX artists joined the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Workers union last week, a first in visual effects. Now, the newly formed union is pursuing negotiations with Marvel, which is owned by
Disney, to draft a contract.Elsewhere, actor Drew Barrymore and comedian Bill Maher faced widespread criticism when they announced the return of their talk shows despite the WGA strike. Barrymore and Maher have reversed their decision this week after receiving criticism. The WGA represents 11,500 screenwriters for film and television.
The WGA is calling for standardized compensation and residuals for streaming and theatrical releases. The WGA also wants to see increased contributions made to the health and pension fund. The union also wants the AMPTP, in light of the recent rise of artificial intelligence, to regulate material created using AI. What about the SAG-AFTRA strike?Despite the apparent progress being made between the WGA and the AMPTP, the Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which started striking July 14, has not indicated a time in which they would return to the negotiating table.
SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors, media presenters, dancers, and more media professionals. SAG-AFTRA is currently granting some independent projects based within the U.S. the ability to begin production as part of an interim agreement.
SAG-AFTRA’s willingness to negotiate with the AMPTP could hinge on the result of negotiations with the WGA.
“SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating team remains ready at a moment’s notice to go back to the bargaining table to secure a righteous deal,” the labor union said in August. The labor union said in August that “SAG-AFTRA’s negotiating team remains ready at a moment’s notice to go back to the bargaining table to secure a righteous deal.” Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, CNBC and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. NBCUniversal belongs to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. The AMPTP currently negotiates with Hollywood writers and actors who are on strike.