The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said Thursday that it planned to schedule a meeting with the Writers Guild of America next week, the first genuine sign of movement in the labor standoff since last month.
The alliance, which represents major studios such as the Walt Disney Co., Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery, said Wednesday that the WGA had “reached out to the AMPTP and asked for a meeting to move negotiations forward.” The announcement comes after not much progress in negotiations since the two sides met Aug. 22.
“Every member company of the AMPTP is committed and eager to reach a fair deal, and to working together with the WGA to end the strike,” the studio group said in a statement.
The WGA did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Writers have been on strike since early May. Key issues include minimum staffing in writers rooms, artificial intelligence‘s threat to their jobs and streamers being more transparent with viewership data so that writers can be financially rewarded for streaming hits.
Actors joined the writers on the picket lines in mid-July, resulting in dual Hollywood strikes that have halted many productions and financially hurt entertainment-related businesses, including prop houses and talent agencies.
The WGA’s request came amid back-and-forth between the two sides over who was supposed to make the next move — the companies or the writers? The finger-pointing contributed to a nearly three-week delay in negotiations at a time when individuals, including below-the-line crew, are increasingly feeling the financial pain of going nearly five months without a paycheck.
Thursday marked the 136th day of the writers’ strike.
WGA negotiators also are scheduled to meet with several prominent TV showrunners, including Kenya Barris and Noah Hawley, on Friday to discuss strategies for moving the talks along. People close to the showrunners said the writer-producers simply wanted to get information and offer assistance to the guild if it needed their help.