Hollywood Writers Reach Tentative Deal with Studios

Leah Shepherd By Leah Shepherd September 25, 2023

Editor's Note: The leaders of the Writers Guild of America unanimously voted to authorize members to end the strike and return to work on Sept. 27.

Hollywood studios and the Writers Guild of America (WGA), the screenwriters' union, have struck a tentative deal. The writers participated in a lengthy strike over pay and working conditions.

We've gathered a group of articles on the news from SHRM Online and other trusted sources.

Vote to Come This Week

The WGA's members still need to vote on the deal.

The WGA was able to secure concessions on most of its demands from the studios, including increases in royalty payments for streaming content and guarantees that artificial intelligence will not encroach on writers' credits and compensation. After 146 days on strike, the deal was reached after five consecutive days of negotiations.

The deal addresses the WGA's concern about AI and old scripts that studios own.

(The New York Times)

Actors Continue to Strike

The studios reportedly agreed to some demands to protect against the use of artificial intelligence in the writing process. In an earlier counteroffer, the AMPTP proposed bans on written material produced by generative AI software, saying it wouldn't be considered "literary material" or "source material."

The studios will still have to reach a separate agreement with the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), which represents tens of thousands of performers. That strike has been going on since July.

Some of the sticking points for actors, in addition to seeking an increase in wages, include payment for residuals, especially from streaming services, which have been secretive about how well individual shows are doing. Actors also want to lock in language that protects them from being replaced by AI software.

(The Washington Post and NPR)

Economic Impact

The work stoppage has cost more than $5 billion already, according to economists. Warner Bros. Discovery warned investors of the effects of the strikes earlier this month when it adjusted its earnings expectations.

Industries such as restaurants, service firms and prop shops have also felt the ripple effects from the ongoing disputes and have had to cut staffing as a result. In New York, disruption of 11 major productions resulted in a loss of $1.3 billion and 17,000 jobs, according to Empire State Development.


Biggest Union

The separate unions for the actors and screenwriters shared many of the same concerns and goals. SAG-AFTRA is Hollywood's largest union and encompasses 160,000 members, including TV journalists, stage performers, stunt and background performers, radio personalities and fashion models.

(SHRM Online)



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