The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike continues after over four months of protests against production studios. Nearing October, studios fear losing more money over the lack of scripted content. But, now a new deal is potentially on the table, CNBC reports, in ongoing talks between WGA leadership and major media executives. Could a deal be reached as soon as the end of the day?
Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita breaks down the benefits packages and job security guarantees featured in writers' demands, including protections from future incorporations of AI, and what studio execs have already agreed to.
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BRAD SMITH: The writers and actors have been striking against Hollywood executives and studios for over 100 days. According to reports, meetings on Wednesday were attended by Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos, and Comcast Chairman Donna Langley. Both sides are expected to meet again today to continue those discussions with sources telling CNBC's David Faber that the talks may be nearing the end now. Let's bring in Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita to give us some more details here. Hey, Akiko.
AKIKO FUJITA: Hey there, Brad. Well, you talked about those four CEOs being in the room yesterday. They are expected to be back at the table today. That is certainly critical and points to potential movements on the front in terms of negotiations partly because that hasn't happened until now.
As you noted, CNBC now reporting that a deal is close and could potentially be finalized by the end of the day today. The two sides, though, releasing a rare joint statement late Wednesday saying the WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow. Now, the key issues on the table still remain the same.
We're talking about writers specifically seeking residuals that would be tied to the number of views their episodes get on a streaming service as opposed to the number of episodes. They're also seeking a mandatory minimum level for the number of writers that are in the room in TV. Of course, protection from content related to artificial intelligence certainly on the table as well.
Now, there are still a part on these issue. But there's been a sense over the last several weeks that these two sides, at least the divide is starting to narrow. For example, the studios have agreed to guarantee that writers will not lose out on credit or pay if they use artificial intelligence to help write their scripts.
The studios have also proposed to allow showrunners to hire at least two writers per show, still different from what the WGA is asking for, but shows some movement there. And the studios have not budged on the issue of residuals, but they have agreed to at least share some viewership data with the union.
Now, we're talking about potential movement here in negotiations because there is a renewed sense of urgency between these two sides largely because October has for a while been seen as kind of an artificial deadline on the table. For one, the studios look at more than 140 days into this strike. This is kind of the time they have seen that writers have started to really feel the financial pain. They believe they have some leverage on that front.
For the writers, at least behind the scenes, there has been pressure building on the WGA to come to an agreement by October. So this year is not awash. And the fear is that if this goes past October that this could be done in terms of content for the year. So we'll be watching any developments coming out of LA today. We do know that both sides are meeting again. Will there be a deal at the end of the day? Still to be determined, but we'll be watching that one closely, guys.