Former actor and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has weighed in on the ongoing strike by Hollywood writers and said he is working "backstage" toward its end.


Calif. Gov. and former actor Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday he is working to end the ongoing strike by Hollywood's writers. ((Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press))

"I'm talking to the parties that are involved because I think it's very important we settle that as quickly as possible because it has a tremendous economic impact on our state," Schwarzenegger said at a news conference in Sacramento Thursday afternoon.

The "sad story," he added, is that the ripple effect from the work stoppage extends to hundreds of production staffers and related crew members, ranging from set stylists to camera operators.

The approximately 12,000 members of the Writers Guild of America walked off the job Monday, beginning the group's first strike since 1988.

Among the major issues in dispute are the writers' share of residual payments from DVD sales and content offered on newer platforms, such as the internet or cellphones.

Last-minute negotiations between the guild and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers broke down Sunday and no new talks between the two groups have been scheduled.

Shows shutting down

Producers of films have reportedly stockpiled a large number of scripts in their attempt to continue production during the labour disruption.

However, many TV producers are seeing their shows shut down much sooner than planned for a variety of reasons, including running out of adequately prepared scripts and performers refusing to cross the picket line.

Status of U.S. TV shows
24: Filming postponed
The Office: Last new episode airs next week
Family Guy: Episodes to end of November
Desperate Housewives: Episodes to Dec. 2
Heroes: Episodes to Dec. 3
Ugly Betty: Four episodes left
Grey's Anatomy: Four episodes left
The Big Bang Theory: Episodes to end of November
How I Met Your Mother: Episodes to end of November
House: Six episodes left
Samantha Who?: Eight episodes left

Late-night talk shows were the first casualty, with a host of sitcoms following this week. A number of TV dramas have also said they will be forced to halt production in the coming weeks.

Many famous faces have joined the striking writers on the picket lines, with actors like Robin Williams and Ray Romano bringing food for the strikers and others like David Duchovny and Tim Robbins — both writers as well as actors — marching in solidarity in New York and Los Angeles.

"This is not about millionaire screenwriters. They don't need to be on strike. This is not about me, I'm fine," Robbins told The Hollywood Reporter.

"This is about the large amount of people who are simply trying to get their fair share."

The Screen Actors Guild, which represents approximately 120,000 actors across the U.S.,is also scheduled to renegotiate its contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, with the current deal set toexpire in June.

With files from the Associated Press