LOS ANGELES (AP) — Union leaders told striking Hollywood writers Tuesday night that they plan to meet with representatives for studios to discuss restarting negotiations after the first official communication between the two sides since the strike began three months ago.
The Writers Guild of America sent an email to members saying that the head of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents major studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations, requested a meeting on Friday to discuss the resumption of contract talks.
“We’ll be back in communication with you sometime after the meeting with further information,” the email read. “As we’ve said before, be wary of rumors. Whenever there is important news to share, you will hear it directly from us.”
It was not immediately known whether a similar overture was made to union leaders for Hollywood actors, who have been on strike since July 14.
Asked about the prospect of talks with either guild, a spokesperson for the AMPTP in an email said only that “We remain committed to finding a path to mutually beneficial deals with both Unions.”
An email to a representative from the Screen Actors Guild–American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, which represents striking film and television actors, was not immediately returned.
Talks between screenwriters and their employers collapsed on May 1, and the first of the two strikes that have frozen production in Hollywood began a day later. Issues behind the strike include pay rates amid inflation, the use of smaller writing staffs for shorter seasons of television shows, and control over artificial intelligence in the screenwriting process.
“I had hoped that we would already have had some kind of conversations with the industry by now,” SAG-AFTRA Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland told The Associated Press earlier Tuesday, before the email was sent to writers. “Obviously, that hasn’t happened yet, but I’m optimistic.”