Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass called for an end to the writers and actors strikes on Friday, saying they are having “profoundly negative impacts” on the city’s economy.
In a statement, Bass said she is willing to personally help jumpstart talks between the studios, the Writers Guild of America, and SAG-AFTRA — because the strikes are having a “ripple effect” on residents and businesses.
“The impact has spanned every corner of Los Angeles — from the writers and actors on the picket line trying to make ends meet to keep a roof over their head and food on the table, to businesses who rely on the entertainment industry,” Bass said.
“It is critical that this gets resolved immediately so that Los Angeles gets back on track and I stand ready to personally engage with all the stakeholders in any way possible to help get this done,” she added.
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Her statement came at the same time negotiators for the WGA and The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) — which represents the major studios and streamers — held a meeting Friday to discuss resuming contract talks as the writers strike nears its 100th day.
But late Friday night, the WGA announced that the talks had broken down and there were no new negotiations planned.
The union said studio negotiators “did not indicate willingness to address screenwriter issues… and many of the other proposals that remain on our list.” The studios additionally “were not willing to engage” on the issue of writers’ room staffing, according to the WGA.
The union is pushing for industry standards on the number of writers assigned to TV shows, and rules limiting the use of artificial intelligence technology to write or rewrite scripts. The WGA is also calling for higher residual pay for streaming programs.
The AMPTP previously said it made a “generous” offer, which was rejected by the WGA.
Meanwhile, SAG-AFTRA is calling for increased streaming residuals and protections against the use of actor images through artificial intelligence.
As industry watchers waited to see what would happen at Friday’s talks, thousands of striking writers and actors descended on the area outside Universal Studios in Los Angeles for a massive picket against NBCUniversal.
Several LAPD squad cars were parked around the picket line as union members marched and chanted under the blazing sun, but there were no reports of arrests or problems.
A day earlier, WGA writers who attended Historically Black Colleges and Universities picketed outside Amazon in Culver City.
Dallas Jackson, a writer-director with several film credits, told Urban Hollywood 411 the strikes aren’t just affecting the economies in Los Angeles and New York, there’s also economic fallout in Atlanta, New Orleans, and Albuquerque, New Mexico — cities where many films are shot.
“This is a battle for everybody because if the writers don’t work, the actors don’t work, the restaurants don’t make money, the small businesses suffer,” Jackson said. “[The strike] is a byproduct of the greed of the studios, because it’s a trickle-down theory. And so it trickled down from the biggest corporate entity down to the mom and pop stores, down to the restaurants, down to the people who clean costumes, down to the hair and makeup people.”