In a grueling bargaining session that extended late into the evening, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and key executives from the entertainment industry failed to reach a conclusive agreement on Friday.
The intense discussions took place at the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers’ headquarters in Sherman Oaks and featured prominent figures such as Bob Iger from Disney, David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery, Donna Langley from NBCUniversal, and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos.
Despite the extended hours, insiders from the corporate camp indicated that the talks were productive, although no concrete plans were solidified. Both parties acknowledged the need for additional time to bridge the gap on several unresolved matters.
Among the most challenging issues on the discussion table is the regulatory framework surrounding the use of artificial intelligence, a subject where both sides remain widely divergent. While there were points of disagreement, Friday’s negotiations followed several days of constructive dialogue, according to those close to the studios.
However, talks hit a snag when the union reportedly revisited certain issues that management believed had been resolved, causing frustration among the studio executives.
The WGA’s negotiating committee released a statement expressing gratitude for the strong turnout at Friday’s picket lines and confirming that negotiations would continue into Saturday. Members of the WGA have been on strike for 144 days, approaching a historical milestone, as their 1988 strike lasted 154 days. The standstill has severely impacted Hollywood production, especially after actors from SAG-AFTRA joined the WGA on the picket lines in July.
Union members on the picket lines displayed cautious optimism, hopeful that ongoing talks indicated an approaching end to the industry-halting strike. Key issues also include residual payments connected to streaming success and staffing requirements for television productions.
With both parties committed to resolving their differences, the industry is watching closely, as the strike is just 10 days away from matching the longest in WGA history.