LOS ANGELES — Informal talks between representatives of Hollywood’s striking writers and production companies have eliminated the major roadblocks to a new contract, which could lead to a tentative agreement as early as next week, according to people who were briefed on the situation but requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak.
A deal would end a crippling writers strike that is now entering its fourth month.
The agreement may come without renewed formal negotiations between the television and movie writers and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, though both sides still need to agree on specific language of key provisions.
If that process goes smoothly, an agreement may be presented to the governing boards of the striking Writers Guild of America West and Writers Guild of America East by the end of next week, the people said.
Even if the writers and producers hammer out a final agreement, there’s no guarantee that there will be an end to the labor strife in Hollywood. The companies’ current contract with actors expires on June 30, and leaders of the Screen Actors Guild — a staunch ally of writers throughout their strike — have said they did not expect to begin negotiations early.
The writers walkout has not fully shut down Hollywood. But it stopped the production of dozens of television series, ended development work on future feature films, and created bitter divisions within the entertainment world.
One of the sorest points has been whether the 80th Academy Awards show, scheduled for Feb. 24, will proceed with its usual complement of stars, and without pickets. A rapid agreement between writers would clear the way for the ceremony, perhaps pointing again toward normality in an industry that has seen little of it lately.
SOURCE: New York Times