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Last Updated: Friday, 9 November 2007, 10:22 GMT
Schwarzenegger aims to end strike
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Schwarzenegger left showbusiness in 2003 to run for governor
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he is working "backstage" to try to help end the screenwriters' strike in Hollywood.

"I think it's very important we settle that as quickly as possible, because it has a tremendous economic impact on our state," the former actor said.

The strike, by the Writers Guild of America (WGA), was prompted by a disagreement over royalty payments.

Writers walked out on Monday to take part in their first strike since 1988.

TV production was hit as work ground to a halt on several prime-time series, and most late-night talk shows were forced into screening immediate repeats.

Out of work

If the strike drags on, most scripted comedies and prime-time dramas are expected to shut down production by the end of November.

Production stoppages have put many hundreds of crew members out of work - from hairstylists and make-up artists, to camera operators and carpenters - with the fallout rippling through the local economy.

"That's the sad story, because the studio executives are not going to suffer, the union leaders are not going to suffer, the writers that are striking, they are not going to suffer. Those are all people that have money," Mr Schwarzenegger said when asked about the strike.

Grey's Anatomy star Katherine Heigl
Grey's Anatomy star Katherine Heigl has supported the strikers

Meanwhile, more stars have joined the picket lines in support of the screenwriters.

In Los Angeles, actor Ray Romano brought bagels, fruit and orange juice for strikers outside Paramount Studios.

Roseanne Barr, Holly Hunter and David Hyde Pierce also joined the New York picket line.

Some actors marching in solidarity like Tim Robbins and David Duchovny, are writers themselves and are members of the WGA.

"This is not about millionaire screenwriters, this is about middle-class writers trying to support a family and make mortgage payments," said Robbins.

The writers' union is seeking extra payments for their work when it is re-used on other platforms such as DVDs, the internet and mobile phones.

Last-ditch talks failed to resolve the dispute. Studios have stockpiled dozens of film scripts in the hope they can ride out the strike.

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