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Hollywood writers reach 'tentative' deal with studios

September 25, 2023

Striking writers will go back to work if the deal is approved by union members. Actors are still on strike over compensation, residual payments and AI protection, among other issues.

Members of actors union, SAGA-AFTRA and the writers union, the WGA, picket at Bronson Studios home of Netflix in Los Angeles
The writers union, the WGA, demanded a significant boost in residual payments from streaming platforms, such as NetflixImage: Robert Hanashiro/USA TODAY/picture alliance

Hollywood writers reached a labor agreement, in principle, with the major studios, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced on Sunday.

"WGA has reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP," a brief statement from the group began. The accord was "made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days."

The three-year contract must be approved by members of the WGA, which represents some 11,500 film and television writers, before it can take effect. The exact terms of the deal were not immediately announced.

Hollywood actors, writers in biggest strike in 6 decades

Five days from history

The arrangement, which was settled upon after five marathon days of renewed talks by WGA and AMPTP negotiators, is expected to end one of two strikes that have halted most film and television production.

The deal was struck just five days before the strike would have become the longest in the guild's history, and the longest Hollywood strike in over 70 years.

The last WGA strike, in 2007-2008, cost the California economy around $2 billion (€1.88 billion).

Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel shows to return

Nightly network shows such as NBC's "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" or ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" are expected to return to the air within days.

But as writers prepare to open their laptops again, it's far from business as usual in Hollywood as the actors' strike continues.

Talks between the studios and the striking actors have not yet resumed, so crew members left out of work by the walkout will remain unemployed for the time being.

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA), an American labor union representing some 160,000 media professionals across the globe, praised the "strength, resiliency and solidarity on the picket lines," of the WGA members.

The union released a statement saying: "While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP's tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members."

Hollywood shuts down as actors join writers on strike

jsi, dh/kb (AP, Reuters)