WGA, AMPTP Reach Deal to End Historic 146-Day Strike

Photo from WGA Instagram

WGA, AMPTP Reach Deal to End Historic 146-Day Strike

By Movieguide® Contributor

The Writers Guild of America reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on Sunday, bringing the months-long strike to a close.

“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional—with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the memberships,” the WGA’s negotiation committee told members on Sunday.

The two sides had come together on September 20 to resume talks after negotiations broke down in August. At that time, the WGA rejected an offer from the AMPTP because it did not address their concerns in full. Now, after three days of intense negotiations, the two sides finally nailed down a tentative agreement to bring the writers back to work.

While the WGA’s negotiation committee has signed off on the deal, the writers’ strike remains in effect until the contract can clear the union’s approval and ratification process. Thus, the WGA has suspended its picketing, but writers cannot return to work until the union’s 11,000 members ratify the deal.

“To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are on strike until then,” the union told its members. “But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing. Instead, if you are able, we encourage you to join the SAG-AFTRA picket lines this week.”

“Though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last ‘i is dotted,” the union continued. “To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again—one last time.”

While the specifics of the deal remain hidden, the union shared that they secured minimum staffing rights as well as better residual pay from streaming services. These key issues were the linchpin of the strike and were said by the studios to be impossible when the strike began in May.

“What we have won in this contract—most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd—is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, we endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days. It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal,” the union said, lauding its members.

While the WGA’s major concerns have been addressed, the discussion of the use of AI has been noticeably missing from the talk about this new deal. The use of AI has been a hot-button issue for the entirety of the strike as writers fear that studios will attempt to replace them with the emerging technology. The silence on this topic suggests that the minimum writer requirement may have addressed this issue while leaving studios’ use of AI on the table.

With the enthusiastic support of the WGA negotiation committee and the majority of writers eager to return to work after 146 days on strike, the ratification of the deal is almost guaranteed.

As the writers return to work and begin creating new scripts, the AMPTP will now shift its focus to the actors’ strike, which has been ongoing since July 12. Luckily, the actor’s strike is largely fueled by the same issues as the writer’s strike, hopefully leading to a quick resolution between the two sides.

However, even as the Hollywood workforce returns, it remains unclear how quickly new TV shows and movies will return to audiences. The Fall television season has already been shot, with networks filling up airtime with reruns, unscripted shows, and sports.

Earlier this year, veteran TV writer-producer Warren Leight explained that Labor Day served as a soft deadline for writers to return to work for networks to air a Spring season. With the deal coming in three weeks after Labor Day, the Spring season may remain out of reach for the majority of shows.

Movieguide® previously reported:

Negotiations between the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) resumed earlier this week with the goal of ending the WGA strike that began in May.

In August, Movieguide® reported, “Negotiations between the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) resumed as representatives from both organizations met with each other for the first time since May.

However, the negotiations didn’t get far.

Movieguide® updated:

In a memo to members on Thursday, WGA leadership noted that there had been “real discussions” with the AMPTP, “but we are not yet where we need to be. As one example, they continue to refuse to regulate the use of our work to train AI to write new content for a motion picture,” per Variety.

“The companies’ counteroffer is neither nothing, nor nearly enough,” said guild leadership. “We will continue to advocate for proposals that fully address our issues rather than accept half measures like those mentioned above and other proposals not listed here.”

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