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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

WGA ends 148-day-long Hollywood writers’ strike following agreement with streamers and studios

The Writers Guild of America went on a strike on May 2 in demand of better pay, staffing commitments and limited usage of artificial intelligence

Urmi Chakraborty Calcutta Published 27.09.23, 10:39 AM

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Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) voted unanimously to end the nearly five-month-long writers’ strike in Hollywood at 12.01 am on Wednesday following a tentative agreement with representatives of major studios and streamers.

“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 http://wgacontract2023.org/deal. #WGAStrong,” the guild shared on X (formerly Twitter) on Wednesday, announcing the tentative deal.

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On Monday, the board of the WGA West and council of the WGA East reached a tentative new deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) — a body that represents Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery, NBC Universal, Paramount and Sony.

The writers will need to cast their votes to officially approve the contract in early October. However, the guild informed its members via email that ending the strike will enable them to continue working while the voting process takes place.

The WGA has also released the 94-page contract along with a summary of the new conditions on their official website. This agreement encompasses better pay, minimum staff levels in TV writers' rooms, improved pay for screenwriters, and limited usage of artificial intelligence.

The union had aimed for a pay increment of at least 5 per cent, with the specific percentage depending on the writer's role. On the other hand, the studios had proposed a pay hike ranging from 2 per cent to 4 per cent. The agreement settled for a raise between 3.5 per cent to 5 per cent.

According to the contract, storylines generated by artificial intelligence will not be regarded as 'literary material', a term used in the agreement for scripts and other content created by screenwriters. This implies that writers will be free to use their creativity without any competition with technology.

Film and television production in many Hollywood studios have been on a standstill since members of the Writers Guild and SAG-AFTRA went on a strike for better compensation and limited use of artificial intelligence on May 2.

The WGA's decision to conclude the strike order marks the official end of the work stoppage after 148 days.

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