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An end in sight? Striking writers and Hollywood studios spend second full day in negotiations

WGA, AMPTP spend second full day engaged in negotiations with hopeful end of strike in sight
WGA, AMPTP spend second full day engaged in negotiations with hopeful end of strike in sight 02:56

Hollywood studios and striking screenwriters spent Thursday in talks that could potentially put an end to the nearly five-month dispute that has brought many film and television productions to a halt.

The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the industry's studios, streaming services and production companies, negotiated for a second full day at the latter organization's headquarters in Los Angeles.

Reports of progress heading into the day had observers watching the meeting closely, but there were no significant updates from inside the room Thursday.

At around 10 p.m., the WGA Negotiating Committee released a statement to confirm that negotiations will continue on Friday. 

"The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow," the statement said.

Present at the negotiations on Thursday were a group of top entertainment CEOs including Disney's Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery's David Zaslav, Universal's Donna Langley and Netflix's Ted Sarandos.

The two sides have been divided on issues of pay, the size of writing staffs on shows and the use of artificial intelligence in the creation of scripts. Actors, who joined the writers on strike in July, have their own issues but there have been no discussions about resuming negotiations with their union yet.

The mood outside Netflix's Hollywood headquarters was upbeat Thursday, with music blaring and drivers honking in support of the picketers.

Actor-writer-producer Justine Bateman, who starred in the '80s series "Family Ties," said the key to making a deal was that the guild's basic agreement offer the right terms to the new generation of writers.

"The point is not to have a resolution as much as to make sure that we have made a deal that protects us … writers in the minimum basic agreement," Bateman said, noting that she and other writers-producers had benefited from the terms of earlier contracts.

"It has to be a deal that makes this worth it," she said.

A previous attempt to restart talks with the writers fell flat. The two sides had a handful of meetings in mid-August, including one that included the heads of Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery.

But writers said that after exchanging contract proposals, "they were met with a lecture about how good their single and only counteroffer was," and the talks trailed off.

The WGA strike is nearing record length. Should it continue through Sept. 30, it will be the longest in the union's history and the longest Hollywood strike since 1945.

Paramount Pictures, one of the studios involved in the negotiations, and CBS News are both part of Paramount Global. Also, some CBS News staff are SAG-AFTRA or Writers Guild members, but their contracts are not affected by the strikes.

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