Hollywood is breathing a collective sigh of relief as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and major studios, along with streaming giants, have come to a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract. This crucial development promises to bring an end to the grueling 146-day strike that has sent shock waves throughout the content industry.
After five consecutive days of intense negotiations, representatives from the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) successfully reached an agreement.
On the fourth day of negotiations, lawyers from both sides dedicated their efforts to ironing out the intricate details of the WGA's Minimum Basic Agreement. Notably, one of the last topics addressed before sealing the pact was the use of generative AI in content production.
The WGA's negotiating committee expressed their satisfaction with the deal in an email sent to members at 7:10 p.m. PT, stating, "We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership."
While the strike remains in effect during the guild's contract approval and ratification process, picketing has been temporarily suspended since Sunday night. Guild leaders are set to cast their votes on Tuesday to determine whether to formally lift the strike order against signatories of the AMPTP.
However, it's essential to clarify that no one should return to work until explicitly authorized by the Guild. The strike remains in force until further notice.
Details of the contract agreement will not be disclosed until the final language is finalized over the next few days. WGA leadership anticipates a vote on Tuesday to approve the final pact. Initially, the negotiating committee will decide whether to recommend the deal for a vote by the WGA West board and the council of WGA East. Once these votes are secured, the contract will be presented for ratification by the WGA's 11,000 members.
The message to members emphasizes the need for patience: "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. 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."
After nearly five months of striking, which commenced on May 2nd, the agreement is highly likely to gain approval from members, especially with the enthusiastic endorsement of WGA leaders. As momentum built during this week, negotiators eyed the approach of the Yom Kippur holiday on Sunday as a soft target deadline for resolution.