Transcript for Hollywood writers expected to meet for another round of contract negotiations
- Writers and studios are expected to meet for another round of talks after restarting negotiations earlier this week. Among other things, the union is calling for increased pay, better residuals and staffing, and assurances on artificial intelligence. Writers have been on strike for nearly five months now. ABC's radio entertainment correspondent Jason Nathanson is here with the latest on that. Jason, thanks for coming on. Today will be the third day of these new talks between the writers union and the AMPTP. So where do things stand right now?
- Well, they're talking, and it's a good thing that they're talking for a third day. This is the first time since the writers strike started back in May that they've actually met for three days in a row. Talks last month, they broke down after just about a day and a half with both sides coming out of it not feeling so great, the writers saying that they felt that they were condescended to in that meeting last month.
This time, you have the CEOs of the major companies-- you got Netflix's Ted Sarandos, you have Bob Iger, who's in charge of Disney, our parent company, the heads of Universal, the Warner Brothers. And they're not there to just kind of talk about their weekend plans and eat stale pastry. They're there to talk and try to make a deal. So it's looking like things are going in the right direction, but all we can do right now is read the tea leaves. We don't have any actual hard evidence that things are moving in the right direction aside the fact that they're still talking. And that's a good thing.
- So, Jason, what are the main sticking points here?
- It really comes down to a couple of things you mentioned there, residuals and artificial intelligence. From what we understand, those are two of the major things that they're still talking about and trying to work out a deal. In this new age of streaming and how things have really changed over the past 10 years, really a fundamental change in the industry about how we watch television-- and streaming is a big part of that. It used to be when it came to watching broadcast, and those were the big numbers, and we'd get the ratings every night. That doesn't happen so much on streaming, although the companies have started to give a little information about what people are watching and how many hours people are watching.
When it really comes down to it, data is really important to Netflix and Amazon and Apple. They want to keep that to themselves. And when it comes to calculating streaming residuals, the writers and the actors say that they want a little more transparency-- transparency when it comes to those sorts of things so they know what their worth is with these shows when they get popular.
So residuals, that's a big thing, and also AI, which I think people were kind of smiling and laughing at when the strike first started. And people were talking about AI and robots writing television shows. That's really become a major sticking point because we don't know where that technology is going to go.
But a lot of people look at it and say, well, it has the chance to fundamentally change the industry just like streaming has over the past few years. And they don't wanna be behind the ball when it comes to AI. They wanna get out in front of it. So they want guarantees and assurances that they will not be replaced-- the writers and the actors will not be replaced when it comes to using artificial intelligence to make movies and TV shows.
- So, Jason, what happens if they don't reach a deal soon?
- Well, this is kind of a critical time right now. We've already lost the first half of the broadcast television season. This is the time, you know-- this is where the shows all usually come back. For ABC, it would be Abbott Elementary, or it would be Grey's Anatomy. We're not seeing that right now. We're seeing a lot of reality shows coming back. We're seeing a lot of sports reruns.
Right now is the time where, if they made a deal, they could salvage the second half of the fall TV season. So there's a lot of kind of pressure to get that deal done so people can go back to work. But also, when it comes to the movie side of things, we're getting into award season. And that's a real critical time for a lot of studios to get their prestige projects out there. But they can't do that if they don't have the big stars.
- All right, ABC's radio entertainment correspondent, Jason-- excuse me, Jason Nathanson. Jason, thank you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.