WGA and Studio Reps to Resume Talks as Hollywood Strike Toll Tops $3 Billion

LOS ANGELES - AUG 1: Netflix at SAG/AFTRA and WGA Strike outside at the Netflix Headquarters on August 1, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA — Photo by Jean_Nelson/Deposit Photos

The Writers Guild of America is scheduled to resume contract talks with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Friday, in the first official contract negotiations since the writers strike began on May 2.

In an email to guild members, obtained by Variety on Thursday, the WGA negotiating committee said AMPTP President Carol Lombardini requested an Aug. 11 meeting for a new round of talks.

“Our committee returns to the bargaining table ready to make a fair deal, knowing the unified WGA membership stands behind us and buoyed by the ongoing support of our union allies,” the email said.

There was no official statement from the AMPTP, which represents the major studios and streamers in the negotiations.

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Black Writers held an HBCU reunion on the WGA picket line in Culver City, CA on Aug. 3, 2023. (Credit: Urban Hollywood 411)
Black Writers held an HBCU reunion on the WGA picket line in Culver City, CA on Aug. 3 (Credit: Urban Hollywood 411)

Last Friday, WGA leaders met with the AMPTP to talk about resuming the talks, but the WGA said later that the two sides remained far apart on key issues, including success-based residual payments for streaming content.

Wednesday marked the 100th day of the writers strike, matching the duration of the union’s last walkout — which began in late 2007. Actors with SAG-AFTRA joined the current picket line on July 14.

This week a media business analyst told CNBC the strikes have cost California at least $3 billion.

Todd Holmes, a professor of entertainment industry management at California State University Northridge, based that number on an economic analysis from the 2007 WGA strike. That strike cost thousands of jobs and dealt a $2.1 billion blow to the California economy. Adjusted for inflation, losses from the 2023 strikes have likely topped $3 billion in the Golden State alone.

“A lot of different people are impacted surrounding the industry,” Holmes said, “and it’s causing them a lot of hardship.”

On the picket line outside Amazon’s offices in Culver City, Calif., writer and director Dallas Jackson recently told Urban Hollywood 411 the strike is causing economic damage in New York, New Orleans, Atlanta, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, where a growing number of movies are filmed.

“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,” Jackson said.