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The Writers Guild of America (WGA) Strikes a Tentative Deal, Ending the 146-Day Standoff

by Venus Sanders

After nearly five months of strikes that brought Hollywood to a standstill, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) reached a tentative agreement with film and TV studios on Sunday, signaling the end of one of the longest strikes in Hollywood's history.

Image Credit: Spencer Platt / Staff / Getty Images

In an email sent to WGA members on Sunday, union officials confirmed that a new three-year agreement had been tentatively reached. They hailed the deal as "exceptional" and noted that it would bring "meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership."

The email from the WGA Negotiating Committee, shared on social media, expressed gratitude to the membership for their solidarity and determination throughout the 146-day strike, stating, "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. 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."

This development comes just five days before the strike would have surpassed the record as the longest in the guild's history and the longest in Hollywood in over 70 years. The breakthrough follows intensive bargaining sessions held over the weekend.

Last week, there were signs of progress as the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers issued a joint statement announcing that they were back in negotiations. The Alliance represents studios, streaming services, and producers involved in the talks.

On Wednesday, union leaders engaged in talks with top studio executives, including Disney CEO Robert Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, and NBCUniversal Studio Chair Donna Langley. According to Reuters, this session was described as "encouraging."

The strike, which began on May 2, saw approximately 11,000 writers in film and TV walk off the job over issues related to pay, staffing levels, and the use of artificial intelligence in script creation.

While the specific terms of the deal were not disclosed on Sunday, the contract language is currently being finalized. The agreement will need approval from the guild's board and its members before officially ending the strike.

It's essential to note that the strike has not concluded despite the tentative agreement. Writers were advised by union leadership not to return to work until they receive the green light. Picketing has been immediately suspended, though.

While one group of Hollywood workers may soon return to work, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) remains on strike. Approximately 65,000 film and television actors joined the picket lines on July 14, adding star power and renewed energy to the fight for improved wages, benefits, and job security.

This joint strike by writers and actors marked the first time both groups had walked out together since 1960. Contract negotiations between the actors' union and Hollywood studios have yet to resume, with SAG-AFTRA urging studio and streaming service CEOs and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) to return to the negotiating table to reach a fair deal.


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