The Writers Guild of America has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) that could potentially end the nearly 146-day strike, which brought most television and film productions to a halt.
The union, representing over 11,000 screenwriters, shared the news in a press release to members on Sunday.
Striking WGA members picket alongside SAG-AFTRA members outside Netflix studios on September 22, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. Mario Tama | Getty Images.
Negotiations between studios and writers began over six months ago, with union leaders asking for increased compensation for streaming content, minimum staffing for TV shows, safeguards against AI encroachment on writers’ rights, and the need for greater transparency in streaming viewership data, among other things.
After a month-long hiatus, talks resumed last week, resulting in the preliminary agreement, though the exact terms of the pending deal have not yet been disclosed. In order to move forward and end the strike, the deal still needs ratification by the WGA members. However, the WGA voiced optimism about the deal.
“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional—with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” WGA wrote in the press release on Sunday.
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Per The New York Times, the strikes have caused significant economic disruption in the film and television industry — Warner Bros. Discovery said the strikes could cause a drop of $200 million in earnings, and California Governor Gavin Newsom said his state’s economy has lost more than $5 billion due to the production halt.
Are actors still on strike?
While the tentative agreement with the writer’s union marks a step towards industry stabilization, thousands of actors remain on strike with no scheduled talks between SAG-AFTRA and studios as of Monday. However, the deal with the Writers Guild may expedite negotiations with the actors’ union, as both unions had similar concerns regarding AI and streaming.
Actor, director, and cinematographer Mark Gray during a solidarity march through Hollywood to Paramount Studios on September 13, 2023. Frederic J. Brown / AFP | Getty Images.
Over 100,000 behind-the-scenes workers in the TV and film industry remain on standby, waiting to work.
The WGA strike marks one of the longest in the guild’s history, and as the tentative agreement remains pending, picketing has been suspended. However, in the interim, WGA has encouraged members to join striking actors as they resume striking on Tuesday. The last time writers and actors were on strike at the same time was in 1960.
Related: As Strikes in Hollywood Persist, Industry Experts Sound Alarms on Potential ‘Collapse’ of ‘Entire Industry’