Hopes rise for end to Hollywood writers' strike as talks extend

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LOS ANGELES – Hollywood writers and studios will meet for a fourth consecutive day of high-level talks on Saturday, as the industry hopes to end the costly 145-day Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike.

The two sides “met for bargaining on Friday and will meet again on Saturday,” the WGA said in a message to its members Friday evening.

“We continue to work toward a deal that writers deserve,” it added.

Thousands of film and television scribes downed their pens back in early May over demands including better pay for writers, greater rewards for creating hit shows, and protection from artificial intelligence.

They have manned picket lines for months outside offices including Netflix and Disney and – having been joined by striking actors in mid-July – have brought the entertainment industry to a costly standstill.

After a lengthy negotiating session on Thursday, the WGA wrote to members that talks would continue again the next day, and urged “as many of you as possible to come out to the picket lines” Friday, where the usual protest hours were extended into the early afternoon.

The heads of Netflix, Disney, Universal and Warner Bros Discovery have personally attended this week’s talks, according to media publication Deadline.

The analysts say that unusual step could indicate that a deal is close – or simply a renewed sense of urgency to end a walkout that is preventing work from resuming on a wide array of film and TV projects, leaving studios and networks with looming gaps in their release schedules.

Among their demands, writers say their salaries have not kept up with inflation, and that the rise of streaming has diminished the “residuals” they earn when a show they work on becomes a smash hit.

Studios have offered greater transparency in streaming audience numbers, while stopping short of offering to revise the way residual payments are calculated.

Writers have also demanded curbs on the use of AI, which they fear could be used to partially replace them in generating future films or show scripts, and therefore fu...

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