Hollywood writers and studios are nearing an agreement to end the strike that has shut down the entertainment industry since May, sources tell CNBC.
In a brief but significant joint statement released after negotiations on Wednesday, both sides stated, “The WGA and AMPTP met for bargaining today and will meet again tomorrow.”
CNBC reports a deal will likely be finalized on Thursday.
While negotiators were optimistic, sources also told CNBC that if a deal was not reached soon the strike could last through the end of the year
The Writers Guild of America went on strike on May 2 and in a historic move, the Screen Actors Guild also joined writers on the picket line on July 14, marking the first time in over 60 years both unions have been on strike at the same time.
For striking writers, the two sides have been divided on issues of pay, the size of writing staffs on shows and the use of artificial intelligence.
Nearly 20,000 writers have been without work or pay since May 2 as negotiations between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers halted over the summer.
The two sides last met at the AMPTP headquarters in Sherman Oaks on Aug. 18. Following the hiatus, the two sides have met at the bargaining table once again, with both sides hopeful for a quick and fair resolution.
“I went in with eyes wide open that this wasn’t going to be an easy conversation for anyone involved,” said Maggie Gottlieb, a WGA writer. “I was sort of buckling down and preparing for a long strike because I know we are preparing for things that are going to benefit future generations of writers.”
Following a request to meet again earlier this week, the studios agreed. Some, however, are skeptical that a fair deal will be reached.
“Hopefully this ends sooner rather than later, but I have a healthy dose of skepticism,” said Alicia Carroll, a WGA Captain.
Insiders tell KTLA the talks were “very encouraging” so far and included a sit-down conversation with WGA, AMPTP and studios including Netflix, Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Discovery and Universal Television.
Writers are asking for protections against artificial intelligence, higher residual pay and viewership transparency from streaming services. Union members said they are prepared to stay on the picket lines until a fair deal is reached.
“We’re ready to fight for, not only for ourselves but for the people that come after us,” said Gottlieb.
“The WGA and AMPTP now have a confirmed schedule to bargain this week, starting on Wednesday,” the union said in a message to members. “You might not hear from us in the coming days while we are negotiating, but know that our focus is getting a fair deal for writers as soon as possible.”
Governor Gavin Newsom said the actors and writers strike have cost the California economy more than $5 billion since the start.
He said he’s been in communication with both sides in an effort to bring the strikes to a close.
“I’m encouraged by the conversations over this last weekend. I’m not going to overstate that, and I’m encouraged that they’re meeting again later this week,” Newsom told CNN’s Dana Bash.