There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike may be coming to an end, according to reports.
After a ten-hour negotiation on the second day of the five-day negotiation process that ended in a deadlock, it was reported that representatives of the WGA and major Hollywood studios had reached an agreement.
WGA and film and television producers reach three-year contract agreement
On the fifth Sunday morning, the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that will end the ongoing writers’ strike. To date, the WGA has been out of work for 146 days.
The WGA’s negotiating committee, co-chaired by David A. Goodman and Chris Keyser, delivered the hopeful news to its members via email after a lengthy meeting in which they hammered out the fine details of the contract, including specifics on the language surrounding generative use AI in content production.
An excerpt from the email sent to members read: “DEAR MEMBERS, we have reached a preliminary agreement on a new MBA 2023, that is, an agreement in principle on all contractual points, subject to the drafting of the final contractual language.”
The message continued: “What we have gained in this treaty – especially everything we have gained since May 2 – is thanks to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, side by side going to endure the pain and uncertainty of the last 146 days.”
According to the committee, the details of the contract have yet to be finalized and therefore cannot be made available to the public. However, it was described as an “extraordinary” deal that greatly benefited the writers.
“We can say with great pride that this deal is exceptional – with significant benefits and protections for authors across all areas of membership,” an excerpt from the email reads. “Now our staff must ensure that everything we agreed to is codified in the final contract language.”
Additionally, before the i’s are dotted, the Negotiating Committee will vote to recommend that the deal be submitted to a vote by the WGA West Board of Directors and the WGA East Council. The board and council then vote on whether to approve a contract ratification vote by members.
If both votes support and approve the pact, the WGA’s 11,000 members will be informed before anything is final. The committee believes the WGA strike will be over in 2023 is far from the case.
“To be clear, no one is allowed to return to work until specifically authorized by the Guild. Until then we will still be on strike,” the committee said. “But we are suspending the WGA picket lines starting today. Instead, if you are able, we encourage you to join the SAG-AFTRA picket line this week.”
The email concluded: “We will have more to share with you in the coming days as we finalize contract language and work through our unions’ processes.”
As the WGA reaches the end of its nearly five-month strike, the same cannot be said of SAG-AFTRA. It is believed that once the WGA negotiations are completed and the contract is signed, a solution to the SAG strike can also be found.
If both strikes end, it will undoubtedly take some time for Hollywood to get back on its feet, but production will resume almost immediately.
Four Hollywood studio executives – Bob Iger of Disney, Donna Langley of NBCUniversal, Ted Sarandos of Netflix and David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery – were the only ones who took part in the five-day negotiation process that led to a tentative agreement.
The second day of negotiations ended in a deadlock
The news of a possible deal is undoubtedly great not only for WGA members, but also for television viewers, as both parties were in a headlock on the second day of negotiations.
As The explosion reported that Hollywood CEOs and the WGA negotiating committee concluded a more than 10-hour “marathon session” of negotiations on Thursday, September 21, but no agreement was reached.
The WGA strike began on May 2 and reached its 146th day on Sunday, approaching the union’s historic record of 154 days set in 1988. Many productions have already been canceled before the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – set [SAG-AFTRA] joined the writers’ strike on July 14th.