Studios and Writers Close to Strike Settlement — Sarandos, Iger, Langley and Zaslav Bargain Into the Night With WGA

Hollywood writers strike
WGA members have been on strike since May. (Image credit: Getty Images)

Top executives for the biggest video entertainment companies worked with Hollywood Writers Guild of America representatives into the late-night hours Thursday, seeking to close a chasm that will end talent strikes that have stopped production since early this summer. 

As of 9 p.m. PT Thursday, Ted Sarandos, Bob Iger, Donna Langley and David Zaslav, respective CEOs for Netflix, Disney, NBCUniversal and Warner Bros. Discovery, were negotiating with top Writers Guild of America officials to end the strike, which officially started May 2

If they are able to come to terms over issues including improved residuals and protection against AI-caused obsolescence, it’s believed that a separate work stoppage instigated by actors union SAG-AFTRA in July can subsequently be resolved quickly using the same negotiating blueprint. 

According to Penske showbiz trade reports, the WGA has proposed increasing residuals based on audience-size increments of 2.5 million views, while leaving writing-staff decisions to individual show-runners rather than following cookie-cutter guidelines. 

The two sides are reportedly close and will meet again Friday if a deal can't be concluded Thursday evening. 

WBD said last week that the work stoppage could cut its 2023 earnings by as much as $500 million. 

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!