The big picture
- The five-month conflict between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers has successfully concluded.
- The agreement has yet to be ratified, but the picket lines have been postponed as negotiations have been successful. WGA leadership expects to vote on the final deal on Tuesday.
- This new contract is considered exceptional and offers significant benefits and protections for authors in all sectors. The WGA recognizes the strength and solidarity demonstrated by its members throughout the 146-day strike.
The five-month standoff between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers comes after successful negotiations following a high-profile meeting between the WGA’s chief negotiating team, the head of the AMPTP and major studio executives. As previously covered by deadlineA meeting between the WGA and the AMPTP took place on Wednesday. In a joint statement, both parties confirmed that they had begun negotiations that day and planned to meet for further talks on Thursday.
The meeting, held on Wednesday, was reportedly attended by notable executives, including the CEO of Netflix Ted SarandosDisney CEO Bob Iger, CEO of Warner Bros. Discovery David Zaslavand Chief Content Officer of Universal Donna Langley. They were joined by the chief negotiator of the WGA and the president of the AMPTP.
Negotiations continued throughout the weekend and were successful provided there were no issues with the final contract language. The agreement still needs to be ratified, but the picket lines have been postponed until Sunday evening. Accordingly diversity, WGA leadership expects to vote on the final deal on Tuesday. The Negotiating Committee will vote, followed by WGA East and WGA West and finally the entire 11,000+ members of the WGA. You can read a statement from the WGA below.
We have reached a preliminary agreement on a new MBA 2023, which means an agreement in principle on all contractual points, subject to the drafting of the final contractual language.
What we have gained in this treaty – especially everything we have gained since May 2nd – is thanks to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side by side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the last 146 days. It is the leverage created by your strike, coupled with the extraordinary support of our union brothers and sisters, that ultimately brought the companies back to the bargaining table to reach an agreement.
We’re very proud to say that this deal is exceptional – with significant benefits and protections for authors across all membership areas.
What’s next for the WGA and SAG-AFTRA?
The WGA went on strike in May after negotiations reached an impasse over issues as diverse as compensation, residual payments for long-running projects, minimum staffing of writers’ rooms, and the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the creation of works, among other notable issues.
The next step for AMPTP and the studios is to resolve issues with SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood’s acting division, which has suspended work over problems similar to those faced by the writers. SAF-AFTRA has been on strike since mid-July and so far no negotiations have begun nor has a date been set for the start of negotiations. SAG-AFTRA also released a congratulatory statement to the WGA, which you can read below.
“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resilience and solidarity on the picket lines. While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary conditions for our members. Since the day the WGA strike began, SAG-AFTRA members have stood alongside writers on the picket lines. We continue to strike on our TV/cinema contract and continue to urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and get the fair deal our members deserve and demand.”