Contract negotiations between Hollywood studios and striking screenwriters could restart next week, the studios said in a statement on Thursday. A return to bargaining — the last talks were held three weeks ago — could be a turning point in the strike, now in its fifth month.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which bargains on behalf of entertainment companies, and the Writers Guild of America, which represents more than 11,000 television and film writers, have been squabbling over procedure. Last month, studios sweetened their offer for a new three-year contract — and then, in an unusual move, publicly disclosed the details, hoping rank-and-file guild members would be satisfied and pressure their leaders to make a deal.
Union leaders, who denounced the disclosure, have since insisted that the onus is on studios to keep improving their offer. The studios have rejected that demand, contending that they would be negotiating against themselves.
On Wednesday, the Writers Guild made a move, according to the statement by the studio alliance.
“The W.G.A. reached out to the A.M.P.T.P. and asked for a meeting to move negotiations forward,” the alliance said. “We have agreed and are working to schedule a meeting for next week.” The alliance added that it was “eager” to reach a deal and was committed to “working together with the W.G.A. to end the strike.”