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An end in sight to the Hollywood writers strike?

Bryan Ochalla | February 08, 2008

LOS ANGELES — All signs are pointing to the Hollywood writers strike ending just in time for the Academy Awards show to air on Feb. 24.

Sid Ganis, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told those gathered at a recent lunch honouring this year�s nominees that he has �no doubt� the awards ceremony will take place as scheduled, adding that "things are looking very, very good now.�

Ganis� comments follow similar claims made by industry insiders, such as one unnamed person who told The Associated Press that a formal deal could be completed by the end of this week.

Although specific details of the months-long negotiations have yet to be disclosed, insiders suggest the deal will address the writers� main sticking point: the residuals they receive for the online use of movies and TV shows.

The latest official word to come from the negotiations came from the presidents of the East and West Coast branches of the Writers Guild of America.

"We are continuing to negotiate the terms of a tentative agreement with the (studios)," said Michael Winship of the WGA East and Patric Verrone of the WGA West in a recent message to their members.

"We anticipate that we will be able to present the terms of that agreement to you in the next few days," they added.

The strike, now in its fourth month, caused the cancellation of last month's Golden Globes awards ceremony, though the WGA is allowing writers to work on the Grammys, set for Feb. 10.

The Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation estimates the strike has cost the film and TV industry at least $650 million in lost wages, with the wider economy losing over $1 billion. – Issued by Gay Link Content

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