The writers’ strike will officially end overnight as the Writers Guild of America has voted to recommend the agreement it made with the AMPTP on Sunday evening.
On Sunday, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) came to a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), but the potential agreement didn’t end the strike. WGA leaders said they expected to vote on the agreement, the language for which still had to be finalized, especially as it pertained to generative artificial intelligence.
“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.”
“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.
WGA members were instructed not to return to work until a vote took place, but on Tuesday afternoon, the Writers Guild of America West posted an update on X, formerly Twitter, which says, “The WGA reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP. Today, our Negotiating Committee, WGAW Board, and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the agreement. The strike ends at 12:01 a.m.”
The WGA reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP. Today, our Negotiating Committee, WGAW Board, and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the agreement. The strike ends at 12:01 am. Check out our deal at https://t.co/c0ULMXhPL7. #WGAStrong pic.twitter.com/7z8kw9xI1p
— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) September 27, 2023
The new contract addresses several issues. Among them are an increase in pay, health benefits, and new language related to the use of generative artificial intelligence, which was one of the biggest points of contention related to the strikes. Contract details related to artificial intelligence include the following:
- AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separate rights.
- A writer can choose to use AI when performing writing services if the company consents and provided that the writer follows applicable company policies, but the company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services.
- The Company must disclose to the writer if any materials given to the writer have been generated by AI or incorporate AI-generated material.
- The WGA reserves the right to assert that exploitation of writers’ material to train AI is prohibited by MBA or other law.
A memo about the new contract can be read by clicking here.
The effective dates of the new contract are September 25, 2023, to May 1, 2026.