By Dawn Chmielewski
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – In what would be a sign of progress in a months-long labor dispute, striking Hollywood writers were expected to respond this week to the latest contract proposal from the major studios, according to two sources with knowledge of the talks.
One of the sources said the negotiating team for the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) spent the weekend reviewing the proposal from the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the trade group representing Walt Disney, Netflix, Warner Bros Discovery and the other major studios and streaming services.
The parties may return to the bargaining table this week, said the sources, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations. The two sides had gone about 100 days without talks.
Another source told Reuters that the studios offered a concession on one area of concern, the use of artificial intelligence, agreeing to have human writers credited on scripts. Bloomberg also reported, citing anonymous sources, that companies agreed to share access to viewer data, which would allow writers to gauge the popularity of their series.
The WGA did not respond to a request for comment on Monday, and the AMPTP declined comment.
“More progress can be made in negotiations when they are conducted without a blow-by-blow description of the moves on each side and a subsequent public dissection of the meaning of the moves,” the WGA’s negotiating committee told its 11,500 members in an email late Friday.
Writers went on strike May 2 over an impasse on compensation, minimum staffing in writers’ rooms, residual payments and other issues. They were joined on the picket lines on July 16 by members of the Screen Actors Guild, effectively halting much of film and television production.
Officials familiar with the specifics of the studios’ proposal declined to provide details.
The AMPTP had rejected as a “hiring quota” the WGA’s demand for minimum staffing of writers’ rooms. Writers have proposed curbs on the generative artificial intelligence, a complex topic the studios saw as requiring “a lot more discussion.”
On recent corporate earnings calls, studio executives expressed a desire for a rapid conclusion to the labor unrest.
(Reporting by Dawn Chmielewski in Los Angeles; Editing by Mary Milliken, Cynthia Osterman and Gerry Doyle)