Striking members of the Writers Guild of America and supporters march towards La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, CA.
Irfan Khan | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images
Hollywood’s writers and studios have a preliminary labor agreement.
Talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resumed last week after months of starts and stops, ultimately leading to a tentative deal that would end the ongoing writers strike.
The WGA and AMPTP are still drafting the final contract language.
“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,” the WGA negotiation committee wrote in a letter to members Sunday night. “It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal.”
Hollywood scribes initiated a work stoppage in early May as negotiations broke down with studios including Disney, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. Discovery. Television and film writers sought protections against the use of artificial intelligence, in addition to increases in compensation for streamed content.
The WGA did not disclose what provisions ultimately made it into the preliminary contract, but told union members that “this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”
Once the WGA and AMPTP agree on the language within the contract, the negotiating committee will vote on whether to recommend the agreement and send it to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval. Then, the board and council will vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by membership.
WGA leadership noted that the strike is not over and no members of the guild are to return to work until that agreement is officially ratified. Members were encouraged to continue standing in solidarity with striking actors on the picket lines.
“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resiliency and solidarity on the picket lines,” the acting guild wrote in a statement Sunday. “While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members.”
Following negotiations with writers, the AMPTP will need to turn its attention to with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SAG-AFTRA members have been on strike since mid-July and are seeking contract updates similar to those requested by the writers.
Hollywood performers are looking to improve wages, working conditions, and health and pension benefits, as well as establish guardrails for the use of AI in future television and film productions. Additionally, the union is seeking more transparency from streaming services about viewership so that residual payments can be made equitable to linear TV.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is a member of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.