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    Friday, August 11, 2023

    Hollywood Studios, Striking Writers Set to Meet Friday

    Major media companies have stepped up their efforts to resolve a three-month-long strike by writers and are preparing a new offer, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

    The most-senior officials from eight studios are holding meetings more regularly, alongside smaller committees of executives who are working to settle the dispute with the writers and a separate strike by actors, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations.

    The Writers Guild of America said in an emailed statement Thursday that the studios’ Alliance of Motion Picture & Television Producers requested a meeting for Friday. The union expects the alliance to respond to the guild’s proposals.

    The writers have been on strike since May. The Screen Actors Guild joined them in July. Both unions have been seeking an increase in base pay, residuals from streaming services and job protection from the use of artificial intelligence.

    Both sides have traded barbs in recent weeks, with the writers accusing the studios of not bargaining in good faith. The studios responded by saying the guild’s rhetoric was “unfortunate.”

    Representatives of the union and the studios met last week, without a conclusive agreement to restart talks. The media giants, including Walt Disney Co. and Netflix Inc., have reported better-than-expecting earnings, in part due to savings from not having to produce new films and TV shows. Some believe that their willingness to put up with a work stoppage may be coming to an end.

    “I think they’ve maximized whatever savings they had long prepared for, and are now eager to get back,” said Tom Nunan, a lecturer in film and TV at the University of California at Los Angeles.

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