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WGA and Hollywood Studios Reach Tentative Agreement

Union leaders and Hollywood studios have reached a tentative agreement to bring an end to one of the most historic screenwriters’ strikes in Hollywood’s history. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), representing studios, streaming services, and production companies, jointly announced this breakthrough after nearly five months of strike action.

WGA and Hollywood Studios Reach Tentative Agreement

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However, it’s critical to take note of that no deal has been reached at this point for the striking actors, who have been on strike since July. The WGA reported the tentative agreement in an email sent to its members, expressing, “WGA has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP.

This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and the extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days.”

The agreement, a three-year contract, was accomplished following five days of serious talks among WGA and AMPTP representatives, with some meetings also attended by top studio executives.

However, it’s crucial to understand that this tentative agreement must still be approved by the WGA’s board and members before the strike officially comes to an end.

The tentative agreement’s terms have not yet been disclosed, but historically, tentative agreements in the industry have been approved by a significant majority of the union’s members.

The strike, which started on May 2, 2023, denoted the longest in the WGA’s history and the longest Hollywood strike in more than seventy years.

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It sent shockwaves through the industry, disrupting the production of numerous TV shows and films, including popular series like “Stranger Things,” “The Last of Us,” and “Abbot Elementary,” along with films such as “Deadpool 3” and “Superman: Legacy.” Even major events like the Emmy Awards were postponed due to the strike’s impact on the entertainment calendar.

One of the quick outcomes of this tentative agreement is the potential return of nightly network shows, including NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” to the airwaves within days.

However, the strike’s goal doesn’t mean a instant return to the same old thing in Hollywood. Talks have not yet continued between the studios and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), leaving crew members who were left unemployed by the strike still without work.

SAG-AFTRA, representing around 160,000 film and TV entertainers, stunt performers, voiceover artists, and other media professionals, released a statement congratulating the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement.

However, they emphasized their commitment to achieving fair terms for their members and urged the studio and streamer CEOs, as well as the AMPTP, to return to the negotiating table.

This breakthrough in the writers’ strike came after weeks of stalled talks and was reached without the intervention of federal mediators or government officials, which had been necessary in previous strikes.

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It likewise followed an interesting joint gathering on September 20, 2023, where top media CEOs, including Bob Iger of Disney, Ted Sarandos of Netflix, David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery, and Donna Langley of NBCUniversal, joined negotiations directly.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and California Governor Gavin Newsom both issued statements congratulating the two sides on the tentative agreement and expressing hope for a swift resolution to the actors’ strike.

The strikes have had a significant economic impact on California and other production hubs across the United States, affecting not only the entertainment industry but also related businesses that support film and television production.

The writers’ strike began over issues such as pay, the size of writing staffs on shows, and concerns about the use of artificial intelligence in script creation.

Actors, who joined the strike in July, have their own set of demands, including minimum wages, protections against AI replacing human performances, and fair compensation for their contributions to streaming services.

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