LOS ANGELES (CNS) - California Treasurer Fiona Ma has written to the chief executives of the major Hollywood studios, urging them to the bargaining table with the Writers Guild of America and Screen Actors Guild to end the strikes that have brought the entertainment industry to a standstill, it was announced Thursday.
Writing also in her role as treasurer, and as a board member of state pension funds serving public workers and teachers, Ma wrote letters to seven companies: Netflix, Walt Disney Co., Comcast, Warner Bros. Discovery, Apple, Paramount Global and Amazon.
Ma cited the studios' "failure to engage thus far in meaningful negotiations as well as the broad financial collateral damage caused by the impasse, including threatening the stability and value of retiree investments," in calling for an end to the stalemate.
"Your failure to come to an agreement is threatening the industry's ability to ensure that writing, acting and other positions are viewed as sustainable careers in California," Ma wrote.
She added that the impact of the two strikes "paralyzes Hollywood and reverberates across the state, affecting countless businesses, thousands of pension fund beneficiaries, and millions of Californians."
Film and TV writers, represented by the WGA, have been on strike since May, while actors represented by SAG-AFTRA joined the action in July.
The studios last met with the WGA on Aug. 22 in a fruitless session, with the union saying the latest offer by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers is riddled with "half measures." AMPTP is the negotiating arm for the studios.
There have been no known contract talks yet between AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA.
Ma said that, potentially, billions in lost economic output for California is at stake. The previous shutdown between studios and writers, from 2007 to 2008, was estimated to cost the state more than $2 billion.