Variety Hollywood heaves a sigh of relief. The WGA and major studios and streamers have reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year contract that promises to end the 146-day strike that has taken a heavy toll across the content industry.
After five consecutive days of negotiations, negotiators for the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached a final agreement on Sunday. The negotiations on Day 4 primarily involved lawyers for the guild and AMPTP hashing out the fine print, including language regarding the use of generative AI in content production.
In an email sent to members, the WGA’s negotiating committee expressed their pride in the exceptional deal, which includes significant gains and protections for writers in every sector. However, the strike will remain in force until the guild’s contract ratification process is complete, although picketing has been suspended.
The details of the contract agreement will be released in the coming days once the final language is completed. The WGA’s leadership will vote on Tuesday to recommend the deal to the board of the WGA West and council of WGA East. If approved, the contract will be sent out for ratification by the guild’s 11,000 members.
The WGA strike, which began on May 2, is expected to pass muster with members, especially with the endorsement of WGA leaders. The end of the strike will also hasten the end of a strike by SAG-AFTRA, which has been ongoing since July 14.
The agreement between the WGA and major studios and streamers addresses the guild’s major priorities, including achieving a minimum guaranteed staff level for episodic TV and a new-model streaming residual formula. This formula will help SAG-AFTRA in its pursuit of a revenue-based residual.
With the strike coming to an end, Hollywood can start returning to its typical cycles of production, distribution, and marketing. Studios and streamers will need some time to get shows and movies back on track after the five-month pause in production.
The negotiations with AMPTP were facilitated by key Hollywood leaders, including Bob Iger (Disney), Donna Langley (NBCUniversal), Ted Sarandos (Netflix), and David Zaslav (Warner Bros. Discovery).
Now that a deal with the WGA is in hand, AMPTP negotiators will shift their attention to SAG-AFTRA. However, production and promotion cannot fully resume until SAG-AFTRA members vote to ratify a new agreement.