The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studios reached a tentative agreement Sunday, Sept. 24, to end the screenwriters strike after nearly five months.
What caused the Hollywood strike?
The Writers Guild of America announced the deal in a joint statement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the group that represents studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations.
‘WGA has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP,’ the guild said in an email to members.
‘This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days.’
Recall that about 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America walked off the job on May 2 over issues of pay, the size of writing staffs on shows and the use of artificial intelligence in the creation of scripts.
The strike, the protest
Actors joined the writers on strike in July to protest their own issues, but there have been no discussions about resuming negotiations with the actors union yet.
The agreement between Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers was settled on after five marathon days of renewed talks by WGA and AMPTP negotiators that was joined at times by studio executives.
The three-year contract agreement must be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike officially ends.
In a longer message from the guild shared by members on social media, the writers were told the strike is not over and no one was to return to work until hearing otherwise, but picketing is to be suspended immediately.
The terms of the deal were not immediately announced.
‘SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resiliency and solidarity on the picket lines,’ the actors union said in a statement.
‘While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members.’
The statement said the guild continues ‘to urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and make the fair deal that our members deserve and demand.’
The proposed solution to the writers strike came after talks resumed on Wednesday, Sept. 20, for the first time in a month. Chief executives including Bob Iger of Disney, Ted Sarandos of Netflix, David Zaslav of Warner Bros.
Discovery and Donna Langley of NBCUniversal reportedly took part in the negotiations directly.
It was reached without the intervention of federal mediators or other government officials, which had been necessary in previous strikes.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement congratulating the two sides on the deal and said she is hopeful the same can happen soon with actors.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom did the same, saying writers ‘went on strike over existential threats to their careers and livelihoods — expressing real concerns over the stress and anxiety workers are feeling. I am grateful that the two sides have come together.’