Top Hollywood executives planned to join negotiations between striking screenwriters and the major entertainment studios for a third straight day on Friday, leading to hope on both sides that a work stoppage in its fifth month could be nearing an end.
On Thursday, the sides remained at odds over several points after a full day of talks, which stretched from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Los Angeles, according to three people familiar with the talks who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic nature of the negotiations.
Ted Sarandos, co-chairman of Netflix; David Zaslav, the chief executive of Warner Bros. Discovery; Donna Langley, the chief content officer of Universal Pictures; and Robert A. Iger, Disney’s chief executive, took part on Thursday. They were joined by representatives of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which bargains on behalf of entertainment companies, and from the Writers Guild of America, which represents more than 11,000 television and film writers.
The two sides, including top company executives, will meet again on Friday, according to a statement from the Writers Guild posted online late Thursday.
The writers’ strike — along with one by Hollywood actors that began on July 14 — has essentially shut down the majority of the entertainment industry. The financial damage done to the industry and the many ancillary businesses that depend on it has been significant.
The talks on Wednesday were the first time in a month that the sides had held talks. Because those talks were encouraging, the parties returned on Thursday.
The writers have been on strike for 143 days. (The longest writers’ strike was 153 days in 1988.) The union has been arguing that the streaming era has worsened its members’ pay and working conditions.
For their part, the studios have said they are offering the highest wage increase to writers in more than three decades, while also including protections against artificial intelligence.
Brooks Barnes and John Koblin contributed reporting.