Hollywood studios and screenwriters are close to resolving a contract renewal dispute that has paralyzed Hollywood for months, but still don’t have a deal, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The studios have agreed to staff a certain number of writers on their TV shows, a figure that will increase with the number of episodes in a season, one of the people said. The two sides have also created a structure in which writers will receive bonuses for popular shows on streaming services.
The studios have made a counteroffer on the use of artificial intelligence in screenplay writing, which was the main topic of talks on Saturday. Discussions will continue Sunday, the two sides said in a joint statement.
Executives at companies including Netflix Inc., Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros Discovery Inc. met with negotiators representing the Writers Guild of America for a fourth consecutive day, hoping to resolve a strike that began at the beginning of May. The writers have been fighting for higher pay and changes in the way they are paid by streaming services.
Both sides have been under pressure to reach a deal. The major media companies are unable to put as many new shows on TV, or move forward with film projects. The traditional fall awards season and winter movie season are both in peril, particularly because the Screen Actors Guild went on its own strike in July.
The labor stoppages have cost the economy billions of dollars, especially in Los Angeles, affecting everyone from hair stylists and make-up artists to restaurants.
While the two sides failed to reach a deal Saturday, they’re still hoping to resolve their differences in coming days. When they reach an agreement in principle, the union must still ratify the deal with a vote of its membership.
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