Light Wave


Writers strike nears end as talks with Hollywood chiefs progress

By CM Chaney · September 21, 2023

In brief…

  • Hollywood studios and striking writers are close to reaching an agreement after more than 100 days of picket lines.
  • The Writers Guild of America is now meeting face-to-face with top media executives.
  • The strike has brought Hollywood productions to a standstill.
  • The Guild has demanded higher compensation, improved working conditions, and IP protections.
  • Flagship productions such as "Stranger Things," "Blade," and "Evil," have been shut down by the strike.
The Writers Guild of America strike that has halted Hollywood film and TV production for over 100 days may soon end as writers and studios talk turkey.  Fabebk/Wikimedia

Hollywood is on the cusp of ending the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike as writers and producers engage in crucial face-to-face talks with studios chiefs.

The two parties are optimistic as they aim to finalize a deal Thursday. If an agreement is not reached soon industry insiders believe the strike could grind on until the end of the year.

The WGA strike has persisted for more than 100 days. Actors joined the picket line in July, bringing TV and movie production to a halt, including flagship projects such as Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” Disney and Marvel’s “Blade,” and Paramount’s “Evil.”

With more than 11,000 film and TV writers in its membership, the WGA initiated the strike May 2, arguing their compensation does not align with the revenues generated during the new streaming era.

In addition to increased pay, the writers have demanded new staffing guidelines for projects and protections regarding the use of artificial intelligence and intellectual property rights for writers.

Earlier this week, the Guild announced its readiness to resume negotiations with the studios, marking a potential breakthrough in the stalemate. The recent face-to-face meeting represents the closest the two sides have come to finding a resolution, according to sources close to the negotiations.

The strike has had a profound impact on the media industry, as major media companies depend on the continued generation of fresh content for their streaming services.

Warner Bros. Discovery, which owns a TV and film studio along with the largest portfolio of pay TV networks, revised its earnings expectations downward due to the strike, projecting a hit of $300 million to $500 million. The company’s 2023 earnings range is now estimated at $10.5 billion to $11 billion.

Captains of the media industry, including Disney Chair Bob Iger, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, and Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, have personally engaged in discussions with the studios and writers in an effort to reach consensus.