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Writers Guild of America East members join United Musicians and Allied Workers as they picket at the Penske Media Corporation's offices in New York City. Image Credit: Getty Images via AFP

The SAG-AFTRA actors union and the group representing major Hollywood studios agreed not to talk to the media during contract talks that started on Wednesday.

The actors’ union is seeking pay increases and protections around the use of artificial intelligence in negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents Walt Disney Co., Netflix Inc., Comcast Corp. and other companies.

“SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP began formal negotiations for a new contract, and with the agreement that neither organisation will comment to the media about the negotiations during the process,” the parties said in a statement.

The actors’ negotiations are taking place as the Writers Guild of America remains on strike. The work stoppage, which began May 2, has shut down late-night talk shows and halted production of shows such as a new season of 'Stranger Things'. SAG-AFTRA members have authorised a strike if their talks fail to yield an agreement by June 30.