Striking writers and studios will meet this week to discuss restarting negotiations

Issues behind the strike include pay rates, the use of smaller writing staff for shorter seasons of television shows, and control over artificial intelligence in the screenwriting process.

Published: 03rd August 2023 11:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd August 2023 12:02 PM   |  A+A-

Writer Julie Benson holds a picket sign with an image of the late actor and comic Paul Reubens, dressed as his character Pee-wee Herman, outside Universal Studios on Tuesday. (Photo | AP)

By Associated Press

LOS ANGELES: Union leaders told striking Hollywood writers Tuesday night that they plan to meet with representatives for studios to discuss restarting negotiations after the first official communication between the two sides since the strike began three months ago. 

The Writers Guild of America sent an email to members saying that the head of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations, requested a meeting on Friday to discuss the resumption of contract talks. 

"We'll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information," the email read. "As we've said before, be wary of rumours. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us." 

The AMPTP has not yet made a similar overture to union leaders for Hollywood actors, who have been on strike since July 14. 

"I had hoped that we would already have had some kind of conversations with the industry by now," SAG-AFTRA Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told The Associated Press Tuesday. "Obviously, that hasn't happened yet, but I'm optimistic." 

Asked about the prospect of talks with either guild, a spokesperson for the AMPTP in an email said only that "We remain committed to finding a path to mutually beneficial deals with both Unions." 

Talks between screenwriters and their employers collapsed on May 1, and the first of the two strikes that have frozen production in Hollywood began a day later. Issues behind the strike include pay rates amid inflation, the use of smaller writing staffs for shorter seasons of television shows, and control over artificial intelligence in the screenwriting process. 

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