The 148-day writers’ strike, the second-longest in Writers Guild of America (WGA) history, is coming to an end tonight at 12:01 am PT after a vote from the union’s leadership authorized members to return to work. Tasks that were prohibited by strike rules will now be allowed, such as pitching, selling scripts, taking meetings, and responding to notes, while writers’ rooms can reconvene.
What was the deal made between WGA and AMPTP?
After a long weekend of negotiations, the studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, and the union announced a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract on Sunday night. After roughly a month of deadlock, momentum picked up on Sept. 20, when the two sides returned to the bargaining table at the AMPTP’s Sherman Oaks offices alongside significant industry leaders.
With key executives present, the studios changed their stance on topics such as minimum staffing in television writers’ rooms and paying authors for the success of streaming initiatives. Artificial intelligence regulations proved to be a stumbling block, but the two parties eventually reached an agreement by Sunday night. The WGA described the final deal as “exceptional” in a message to members on Sunday.
“This allows writers to return to work during the ratification process, but does not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval.”The WGA negotiating committee
What is SAG-AFTRA’s current stance on the work stoppage?
The news ends one half of a historic labor deadlock in entertainment, a double strike not seen in Hollywood in over 60 years, but SAG-AFTRA remains on strike, and neither that union nor the AMPTP has scheduled any new bargaining dates for the parties. SAG-AFTRA’s leadership sought to quash rumors about meeting dates with studios and streamers in an Instagram posting on Tuesday evening. “At this time, we have no confirmed dates scheduled to meet with the AMPTP. When we do have dates confirmed, we will inform you. Unless you hear it from us, it’s hearsay,” read the official statement.
SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP are still at odds over general wage hikes, a plan to offer union members a portion of platform subscription money if their streaming initiatives succeed, and artificial intelligence laws, among other things. Even with the authors back on the job, production cannot resume in any meaningful way without the presence of the key actors.