The longest labour strike in the history of television and film may be ending soon, after 146 days, as the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative agreement on Sunday night.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA), the union that represents a majority of Hollywood’s writers, announced that a tentative agreement was reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), a collection of the largest studios and production companies.
The WGA said in its announcement, “We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”
The strike is not over yet. The members of the WGA will have to vote to ratify the agreement. The union will suspend picketing immediately, but writers will not return to work until the leadership votes to end the strike. (The union leadership has encouraged WGA members to join the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, or SAG-AFTRA picket lines.) WGA leadership plans to vote to end the strike on Tuesday, September 26.
The Tentative agreement terms have not been made public, but previous demands have set a pattern. The WGA wanted wage increases, residual payment increases, and the use of artificial intelligence limited in the writing process.
While the WGA has reached an agreement, SAG-AFTRA is still on strike. The tentative agreement reached by the WGA may help the SAG-AFTRA workers, bringing both sides to the negotiating table sooner rather than later. SAG-AFTRA put forward a similar set of demands to WGA.
The cost of the strike has been reported to be around five billion dollars.