WGA strike: Hollywood writers union and studios reach a tentative agreement, potentially ending a months-long strike

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Major film and television studios and striking writers reached a tentative agreement Sunday after several days of marathon negotiations, paving the way to end a historic work stoppage that has halted production, the Writers Guild of America said Sunday evening. And paralyzed much of Hollywood. ,

“What we have won in this contract – in particular, everything we have achieved since May 2nd – is the ability of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to stand shoulder to shoulder, to bear the pain. That’s because of the desire and uncertainty of the last 146 days,” the WGA said in an email to members on Sunday. “It is the benefits generated by your strike, along with the extraordinary support of our union brothers and sisters, that finally allowed the companies to reach a deal. Brought it back to the table.”

Terms of the agreement were not immediately known.

Although the agreement still needs to be approved by members of the WGA, which represents more than 11,000 writers, it marks a turning point in the nearly five-month strike. The current walkout comes close to surpassing the longest strike in WGA history, the 1988 strike that lasted 154 days.

“We can proudly say that this deal is extraordinary – with meaningful benefits and protections for writers in every area of ​​the membership,” the WGA said in its message to members.

However, the temporary agreement does not end the strike immediately.

“To be clear, no one is to return to work unless specifically authorized by the Guild. We are on strike until then,” the WGA wrote. “But we are, as of today, suspending the WGA strike.” The guild encouraged members to join the picket line for the actors’ strike this week.

The actors’ union, SAG-AFTRA, has also been on strike since mid-July; SAG-AFTRA represents approximately 160,000 actors.

Both Hollywood strikes were long and costly, with a nationwide economic impact of more than $5 billion, according to economists. Industries such as restaurants, service firms and prop shops have also felt the impact of the ongoing disputes and have had to cut headcount as a result. According to Empire State Development, disruptions to 11 major productions in New York resulted in the loss of $1.3 billion and 17,000 jobs.

It said in its statement that the WGA could authorize its members to return to work on Tuesday before the agreement is officially ratified by union members.

A person close to the matter said that as a result, the author could potentially return to work within days.

People familiar with the matter expressed hope Sunday night that the studio’s agreement with the writers would also allow an agreement to be reached with the actors.

Revenue streams from traditional linear television are declining, and streaming services – while growing, are also losing money. Streaming shows also have shorter seasons, which means less work for writers.

Writers have stated that they cannot afford to live under the current economy and salary structure of the television and film industry, with many shows having few job opportunities and low pay for many of the writers who do get work. There are many successful, even award-winning writers who now find themselves unable to earn a living in this profession.

Writers are also concerned about the rise of artificial intelligence and want protections to ensure that movies and shows are written by humans, not machines.

In fact, the use of generative artificial intelligence in the production was one of the final sticking points, a person familiar with the matter said.

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