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Warner Bros.  suspends agreements with Mindy Kaling, JJ Abrams and other top creators


Warner Bros. Discovery on Wednesday suspended deals with some of the TV industry’s most high-profile screenwriters, including Mindy Kaling, “Lost” co-creator JJ Abrams and “Ted Lasso” co-creator Bill Lawrence, a reporter said. studio source to NBC. News.

The move comes as the Writers Guild of America strike enters its fifth month – with no end in sight. Hollywood screenwriters and major studios such as Warner Bros. are engaged in a battle over wages and other issues, including protection from artificial intelligence.

Kaling, a comedian and actress best known for her role on NBC’s “The Office,” co-created the comedy series “The Sex Lives of College Girls” and the animated series “Velma,” both shows distributed on Max, Warner Bros. Discovery’s flagship streaming platform. Abrams co-created Max’s crime thriller “Duster,” which was still in production when strikes shut down the industry.

Lawrence’s shows “Ted Lasso” and “Shrinking” air on Apple TV+, but they’re both co-produced by Warner Bros. Television.

Film and television screenwriters have been on strike since early May. Industry players, largely represented by SAG-AFTRA, joined journalists on the picket line in July, the first time the two unions have struck simultaneously in 63 years. Leaders of both unions say their members have been economically disadvantaged by the rise of streaming.

Representatives for the WGA, SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. Representatives for Kaling, Abrams and Lawrence also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Warner Bros. Discovery said in a filing this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission that the media company assumes it will be “negatively impacted” by the $500 million double strikes.

“WBD hopes these strikes will soon be resolved,” the company said in the filing, “but” it cannot predict when the strikes will ultimately end… The company now assumes that the financial impact of these strikes on WBD will persist through the end of 2023.”

The portfolio of Warner Bros. Discovery includes film studio Warner Bros. Pictures, the Max streaming service and cable channels such as CNN, TBS, TNT and Turner Classic Movies.