The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said Thursday that it is planning a meeting with the Writers Guild of America next week, the first real sign of movement in the labor dispute situation since last month.
The alliance, which represents major studios such as Walt Disney Co., Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery, said Wednesday that the WGA “has contacted the AMPTP and requested a meeting to advance negotiations.” The announcement comes after negotiations made little progress since the two sides met on August 22.
“Every member company of the AMPTP is determined and committed to reaching a fair deal and working 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 the beginning of May. Key issues include minimum staffing in writers’ rooms, threats to their jobs from artificial intelligence, and streamers needing to be more transparent about viewership data so that writers can be financially rewarded for streaming hits.
In mid-July, actors joined writers on the picket lines, leading to double strikes in Hollywood that halted many productions and financially hurt entertainment companies, including prop companies and talent agencies.
The WGA’s request came amid a back-and-forth between the two sides over who should make the next move – the companies or the authors? The blame game contributed to a nearly three-week delay in negotiations at a time when individuals, including below-the-line employees, are increasingly feeling the financial pain of going nearly five months without a paycheck.
Thursday marked the 136th anniversary of the writers’ strike.
On Friday, WGA negotiators are also scheduled to meet with several prominent TV showrunners, including Kenya Barris and Noah Hawley, to discuss strategies for moving forward in talks. People close to the showrunners said the writers and producers simply wanted to gather information and offer help to the guild if it needed their help.