The writers’ strike in Hollywood is finally over. Well, it will be once a favorable vote takes place later this week.
It’s been 146 days–almost five months–since more than 11,000 Hollywood writers put down their pens and walked away, setting into motion one of the longest strikes ever in Hollywood. But it doesn’t look like the Writers’ Guild of America (WGA) strike of 2023 won’t go down in the history books as the longest, as negotiations between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) hit a nerve of a different kind on Sunday evening, and a tentative deal between the two parties was finally reached.
“What we have won in this contract–most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2–is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days,” read a message in an email to WGA members on Sunday evening. “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 tentative agreement comes after days of “marathon” negotiations between the WGA and the AMPTP, which have been at odds since before the strikes began on May 2, 2023. The use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) has long been a focal point in the efforts of the striking writers.
Negotiators for the Writers Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached the finish line Sunday after five consecutive days of negotiations. Day 4 on Saturday mostly involved lawyers for the guild and AMPTP hashing out the fine print of language around complicated and groundbreaking additions to the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement. The nitty-gritty details of language around the use of generative AI in content production were one of the last items that the sides worked on before closing the pact.
As of the time of this publication, the specifics of the deal are not known, but the agreement is being called exceptional.
“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 WGA’s negotiating committee said in an email to its members on Sunday evening.
Writers Still on Strike Until They Vote
Members of the WGA were instructed not to return to work until instructed to do so, pending the solidification of the final language in the deal and a vote by members, which is expected to take place on Tuesday.
Details of the potential agreement won’t be officially released until that language is completed. Leadership on the negotiating committee will vote first–on whether to approve the deal for a vote of the board of the WGA West and the council of the WGA East. Should both of those votes be in favor of approving the agreement, the contract will then be sent out to the more than 11,000 members of the WGA for ratification.