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Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
End to Hollywood strike 'in sight'
Striking actors
Striking actors take to the streets of Los Angeles
There are growing signs that Hollywood's longest strike could end by next week.

Both sides in the dispute, actors and advertisers, are confident of reaching a deal in talks to be held on Thursday, American entertainment newspaper Variety reports.

Tom Hanks
Support: Tom Hanks backs actors in their pay protest
The strike has been continuing since 1 May, prompted by a dispute over advertisers' pay rates for actors.

The industrial action has won the backing of Hollywood's more affluent stars, such as Kevin Spacey, Tom Hanks and John Travolta.

Almost $1m (£700,000) has been donated by Hollywood stars to a strike fund, with Nicholas Cage the most generous of the donors, handing over $200,000 (£138,000) to the fund.

However, British actress Elizabeth Hurley was confronted by an actors' picket at the US première of her movie Bedazzled on Tuesday night for breaking the strike.

She appeared in a perfume advertisement but later apologised and donated $25,000 (£17,000) to the fund.

I've got my fingers crossed

William Daniels
Screen Actors' Guild
"We're hoping that we'll make some progress," said Daniel Jaffe, a vice president with the Association of National Advertisers.

He added: "We think we're showing a lot of belief that there is a deal to be made by coming back so soon after the last talks deadlocked, but you can never tell until you sit down at the table."

The key points left in dispute are pay rates for cable TV and internet advertising.

Screen Actors' Guild president William Daniels said: "I've got my fingers crossed."

Thursday's talks are the fourth attempt to resolve the strike. Bill Rohlfing, one of the picket leaders, said he hoped a deal would be reached by next week.

Productions have largely been unaffected by the strike as advertisers take their work outside the US, or employ strike-breaking actors.

Steve Caplan of the Association of Independent Commercial Producers said that overall production remained constant because work was taken to Canada, Europe and Australia.

"We urge both sides to resolve this so we'll be able to see work return to Los Angeles and New York as we head into a very busy season," he added.

Actors have focused their protests on companies which have used strike-breaking performers such as Nike, Coke, Ford and Procter and Gamble.

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See also:

18 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Hurley première picketed
12 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Spacey boosts strikers' fund
18 Jul 00 | Entertainment
Hurley under fire from striking actors
22 Jun 00 | Entertainment
Sports stars break Hollywood strike
17 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Hurley sorry for breaking strike
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