There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel, as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike might reportedly be coming to an end.
After a 10-hour negotiation on day two of the five-day negotiation process that ended up in a deadlock, it was reported that the representatives of WGA and Hollywood major studios had reached an agreement.
WGA & Motion Picture and Television Producers Reach Three-Year Contract Agreement
On Sunday morning, Day five, the WGA and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that will end the ongoing writer’s strike. So far the WGA has been out of work for 146 days.
The WGA’s negotiating committee, co-chaired by David A. Goodman and Chris Keyser, broke the hopeful news to its members via email after a long meeting that saw them hash out fine lines of the contract including details of language around the use of generative AI in content production.
An excerpt of the email sent to members read, “DEAR MEMBERS, We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language.”
The message continues, “What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd – 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.”
Per the committee, the details of the contract are yet to be finalised hence they can’t be released to the public. However, it was described as an “exceptional” deal that favored the writers greatly.
“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” an excerpt of the email reads. “What remains now is for our staff to make sure everything we have agreed to is codified in final contract language.”
Also, before the i’s are dotted, the negotiating committee will vote to recommend that the deal go to a vote of the board of the WGA West and the council of WGA East. Afterward, the Board and Council will then vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by the membership.
If both votes support and approve the pact, then the 11,000 members of the WGA will be informed before everything in finalized. As for if the 2023 WGA strike is over, the committee says that is far from the case.
“To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then,” the committee declared. “But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing. Instead, if you are able, we encourage you to join the SAG-AFTRA picket lines this week.”
Concluding, the email reads, “We will have more to share with you in the coming days, as we finalize the contract language and go through our unions’ processes.”
While the WGA is reaching the end of its almost five-month strike, the same can’t be said for the SAG-AFTRA. It is believed that if the WGA negotiations are finalized and the contract signed, the SAG strike can also begin to find some resolution.
If both strikes end, it will no doubt take some time for Hollywood to get back on her feet, but production will resume almost immediately.
Four Hollywood studio executives — Disney’s Bob Iger, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, and David Zaslav of Warner Bros. Discovery —were the only ones that participated in the five-day negotiation process that reached a preliminary deal.
Day Two Of Negotiation Ended With Deadlock
The news of a possible deal is undoubtedly great not only for WGA members but also TV watchers given that both parties were in a headlock on day two of the negotiations.
As The Blast reported, on Thursday, September 21, Hollywood CEOs and the WGA negotiating committee wrapped up a “marathon session” of negotiations of more than 10 hours but no agreement was reached.
The WGA strike began on May 2 and reached its 146th day on Sunday, approaching the union’s historical record of 154 days set in 1988. Many productions have already halted productions before the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists [SAG-AFTRA] joined the writers’ strike on July 14.