No deal yet as Hollywood writers, studios talk for third straight day

FILE PHOTO: Hollywood actors and writers on strike outside Disney studios in California

By Lisa Richwine and Dawn Chmielewski

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) -Striking Hollywood writers and top studio executives met for a third straight day on Friday, ending with a decision to continue talks on Saturday as they try to end a work stoppage that has shut down film and TV production for months.

While workers across the entertainment industry waited for word of the outcome, no agreement was announced as the strike reached its 144th day.

The WGA said in a statement early on Saturday that the two sides would meet again on Saturday.

Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger, Netflix Co-CEO Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav and Donna Langley, chairman of Comcast’s NBCUniversal Studio Group, took part in the talks with the Writers Guild of America (WGA) for a third day.

Representatives for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents the studios, had no comment.

While the two sides met, union members turned out in large numbers in response to an appeal from WGA negotiators on Thursday to flood picket lines outside the studios.

In the crowd outside Netflix on Friday was “Mad Men” creator and writer Matthew Weiner, who like others voiced optimism that the recent talks signaled progress was being made.

“I’m hopeful,” Weiner said of the possibility that the strike could be coming to an end. “I would like to go back to work and I would like to start mending these relationships.”

Roughly 11,500 WGA members walked off the job in May, demanding higher pay and residuals in the streaming TV era plus limits around the use of artificial intelligence.

Producer and WGA member Al Septien, also picketing outside Netflix on Friday, said he wanted to get back to work, but only under the right terms.

“We’ve been out here a long time. We don’t want to fold for a less-than-fair and good contract for the writers,” he said.

The SAG-AFTRA actors union also is on strike after walking off the job in July.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine, Dawn Chemielewski and Sandra Stojanovic in Los Angeles; additional reporting by Kanjyik Ghosh; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and William Mallard)