It’s official — the writers’ strike ends tonight.
At 12:01 a.m. Pacific Time on Wednesday, Sept. 27, Hollywood screenwriters will be allowed to go back to work, the Writers Guild of America, East confirmed on Tuesday.
“The WGA reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP. Today, our Negotiating Committee, WGAW Board, and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the agreement. The strike ends at 12:01 am,” WGAE tweeted on Tuesday afternoon.
Writers’ Strike Ends Thanks to ‘Exceptional’ Deal
The news that a tentative deal had been reached that the WGA found “exceptional” went out on Sunday night, and on Tuesday, the boards of WGA-East and WGA-West voted in favor of the deal — and of ending the strike. The last step in fully finalizing the deal will take place between Oct. 2-9 when eligible voting members of the WGAE and WGAW cast their ballots on whether to approve the contract.
“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the WGA negotiating committee said in an email to members, according to the New York Times.
The AMPTP was less enthusiastic in its comment to the Times: “The WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement.”
The terms of the tentative deal that benefit writers include higher compensation for streaming content, minimum staffing requirements for TV shows, and safeguards against artificial intelligence intruding on writers’ credits and payment for their work.
More details about the new three-year deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers are explained on the WGA website.
This deal ends the strike that has been going on since May — but only for Hollywood’s screenwriters. The SAG-AFTRA strike is still underway as actors demand more pay for streaming content and protection against their likenesses being used by A.I., among other demands.
The actors joined the writers on strike on July 14, when SAG-AFTRA president Fran Drescher gave an impassioned speech after the guild could not reach a satisfactory deal with the AMPTP during contract renewal negotiations.
“I am shocked by the way the people that we have been in business with are treating us. I cannot believe it, quite frankly, how far apart we are on so many things, how they plead poverty, that they’re losing money left and right when giving hundreds of millions of dollars to their CEOs. It is disgusting. Shame on them. They stand on the wrong side of history,” Drescher said in the July press conference.
This year was the first time since 1960 that actors and screenwriters had been on strike at the same time.
As of late September, SAG-AFTRA and the AMPTP haven’t met in two months, and there are no talks scheduled yet, according to the Times.
Main Image: Writers on strike in May. Photo credit: Marlena MIller.