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WGA Negotiates New Contract with Studios, Ending the Writer’s Strike

Updated: Jul 5

The five-month long strike came to an end when the Writer's Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers came to a tentative agreement.

Writers and actors watch press junket during solidarity rally
Various Chicago unions, including Chicago Federation of Labor and the local chapter of SAG-AFTRA, participate in a solidarity rally to support the local WGA members (Photo courtesy: Chinyere Ibeh)

The four-month long writer’s strike came to an end last week following contract negotiations with Hollywood studios.

In the last week of September and after 148 days of the strike, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) announced a tentative agreement. On Sept. 26, WGA’s leadership announced that they voted to end the strike and recommended that members vote in favor of the new contract.

Voting for the new contract began on Oct. 2 and President Joe Biden praised the writer’s tentative deal prior to his appearance on the picket lines alongside striking auto workers.

“There simply is no substitute for employers and employees coming together to negotiate in good faith toward an agreement that makes a business stronger and secures the pay, benefits, and dignity that workers deserve,” Biden said.

The WGA released a summary of the deal terms in a simplified version of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). The specifics of the deal haven’t been released, though, voting on the deal will end Oct. 9 at 1 p.m. PST.

One of the main points of contention throughout the strike was the use of artificial intelligence. According to the agreement’s summary, AI cannot replace the work of the writers.

“AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the [Minimum Basic Agreement], meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights,” the summary read.

Writers will also have the choice to use AI, but it’s not a required part of the job. Any company that employs WGA writers must inform them if any given materials were made by AI or uses AI-generated material. The guild has the right to assert that use of writers’ material to train AI is prohibited.

Not only did writers win the fight against artificial intelligence, they will receive better residuals. Regarding streaming services, like Netflix, films and shows that are viewed by more than 20 percent of the streamer’s domestic subscribers, writers are entitled to a bonus that equals half of the domestic and foreign residuals. Streamers also agreed to provide WGA members with the total number of hours streamed of self-produced streaming programs.

WGA members will also receive increases in their minimum pays. Most minimums will increase by 5% when the agreement is ratified, 4% on May 2, 2024 and 3.5% on May 2, 2025.

Even though the WGA is voting to ratify its own agreement, writers will continue to picket in solidarity with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television (SAG-AFTRA) members. The actor’s guild is currently in negotiations after three months of striking.

For the full summary of the WGA’s tentative agreement with AMPTP, read here.


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