WGA Agreement Reached—Now What?

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WGA Agreement Reached—Now What?

By Movieguide® Contributor

After many months of protests and picket marches, the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) finally reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). Yet other related organizations still strike.

Deadline reported, “The parties finalized the framework of the deal Sunday when they were able to untangle their stalemate over AI and writing room staffing levels,” but the details aren’t available yet. 

“’We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language,’ the WGA told its members in a release, which came just after sunset and the start of the Yom Kippur holiday that many had seen deadline to wrap up deal after five days of long negotiations,” Deadline wrote.

Movieguide® reported on the WGA negotiations on Friday:

Almost one month after the first negotiation, David Faber with CNBC shared on X, ‘After face-to-face meeting [on Wednesday], writers and producers near agreement to end WGA strike. Met today and hope to finalize deal tomorrow, according to people close to the negotiations, who, while optimistic, warn that without deal tomorrow strike likely continues through year end.”

Meanwhile, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IETSE), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) still wait for negotiations. 

Deadline reported, “SAG-AFTRA might see the WGA deal, if not as a ‘pattern’ to follow, then at least as a template to build upon. This could be the case for many, but certainly not all, of SAG-AFTRA’s demands for better wages, a whole new way of calculating streaming residuals and safeguards against potential abuses arising from the use of artificial intelligence.”

Former television executive and film producer Tom Nunan believes that the WGA agreement will make studios more open to negotiations with SAG-AFTRA. He points out that the strikes benefited studios financially, but that benefit is about to come to an end. So, SAG-AFTRA negotiations will become necessary.

Studios “were really in the red, and they needed to pull back and contract. So in many ways the strike played right in the media companies hands because they were able to incur tremendous savings,” Nunan said. “They knew if they could sweat out a strike they would make Wall Street very happy.”

Other sources also agree that the AMPTP will be more receptive to discussions due to the WGA accord and that SAG-AFTRA negotiations will start soon. After SAG-AFTRA, next up will be IETSE and AFM.

Movieguide® previously reported on the SAG strike:

SAG President Fran Drescher shared that she never wanted her union to go on strike.

With some of her union’s members making less than $10,000 a year, and many making under $65,000 a year, the financial strain of a strike would be very costly. The low salaries, however, are exactly the reason the strike needed to happen. 

“We wanted to avert a strike, if at all possible,” Drescher told Variety. “Most [of our] members are working class. So the impact of a strike did weigh heavy on me and the negotiating committee, that a strike would have a profound impact on them, but they did give us unprecedented support to strike if we felt like we needed it.” 

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