After nearly 150 days on strike, the Writers Guild of America reached a tentative contract deal Sunday night with Hollywood studios that reportedly contains significant victories for screenwriters, including compensation boosts for streamed content and rules restricting the use of artificial intelligence.
In a letter to members late Sunday, the WGA’s negotiating committee stressed that the deal still must be converted into final contract language and that while picketing will be suspended, no one will return to work and the strike will continue until key steps are taken toward member ratification of the agreement.
“Though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last ‘i’ is dotted,” the letter states. “To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again—one last time.”
Without offering specifics, the letter calls the deal “exceptional” with “meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.” The WGA represents more than 11,000 screenwriters.
“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 letter reads. “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.”
The WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement. This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who stood with us for over 146 days. More details coming after contract language is finalized. #WGAstrike pic.twitter.com/VSpgsHdYVk— Writers Guild of America, East (@WGAEast) September 25, 2023
The New York Times reported that the tentative three-year contract agreement includes “increases in compensation for streaming content, concessions from studios on minimum staffing for television shows, and guarantees that artificial intelligence technology will not encroach on writers’ credits and compensation.”
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents the studios, did not offer much comment in response to the deal.
“The WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement,” AMPTP said in a joint statement with the WGA.
SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union that joined the WGA on strike in July, congratulated the writers late Sunday for showing “incredible strength, resiliency, and solidarity on the picket lines.”
“Since the day the WGA strike began, SAG-AFTRA members have stood alongside the writers on the picket lines,” the actors’ union said. “We remain on strike in our TV/Theatrical contract and continue to urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and make the fair deal that our members deserve and demand.”