The tense standoff between Hollywood studios and writers is reportedly nearing an end, with the two sides hoping to finalize a deal on Thursday, September 21. The AMPTP, which represents the major studios and broadcasters, is reported to have made a fresh offer to the striking Writers Guild of America. This latest proposal should include compensation throughout the entire pre-production, production, and post-production process and a higher base salary.
Negotiators reportedly sat for a meeting face to face on Wednesday, with some of the key players from the big media companies taking part in these discussions. These included Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos, and NBCUniversal chairman Donna Langley. Warner Bros Discovery chief executive David Zaslav was also believed to have been present.
It’s said that the offer from the AMPTP would see more than 11,000 writers return to work after more than 100 days of striking. This is a significant development, as the strike has caused productions of many popular shows to grind to a halt, including Netflix’s Stranger Things and various Marvel/Disney productions. The Screen Actors Guild, who joined the writers on their strike in July, have yet to resume talks with the AMPTP, so this new proposal could be a step toward getting them back to work.
According to CNBC, the two sides are close to reaching an agreement over several issues that have been the cause of the writer’s strike. These include using artificial intelligence and the size of writing staff on shows. If the current rumored deal is reached, it could be the quickest way to get the 11,000+ writers and actors back to work.
While many productions have been put on hold during the strike, some big-name stars are still willing to stand behind their union, including former Nanny Fran Drescher, who has spoken out to encourage her colleagues to continue fighting. The 68-year-old star praised the writers for their dedication to their craft, saying she has “never seen such a group of dedicated artists.”
According to Reuters, a deal between the two parties is expected to come into effect in time for Halloween this year. This would boost the movie industry after a slump in box office sales saw revenues drop by more than $6 billion this summer.
The AMPTP is keen to avoid the risk of further strikes by the WGAW and SAG-AFTRA, which would bring an estimated $11 billion in losses for the entertainment industry this year. Warner Bros Discovery warned investors of the impact earlier this month, adjusting its earnings expectations and forecasting a loss of $300 million due to the ongoing strikes.