After 146 days, it’s almost time for WGA writers to say “pencils up.” On Sunday, the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached a tentative deal that will bring the 2023 writers strike to an end.
The two came to an agreement on a a three-year agreement, which will need to be ratified by WGA members in order to take effect. Specifics on the terms of the details are still forthcoming. However, in a statement, the WGA said, “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 strike began on May 2nd, 2023, after the previous contract between writers and the studios elapsed. This immediately shut down late night television production, even before the Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA) joined the writers on the picket line in July. In subsequent months, production on projects across both film and television has been stalled, while the guilds wait for a fair deal from the studios.
Chief amongst the complaints raised by both writers and actors was the lack of residuals received for streaming content — in a pre-streaming world, residuals had been essential to making a sustainable living in Hollywood. In addition, both the WGA and SAG-AFTRA have expressed concerns over AI and its usage, which the AMPTP initially ignored.
While the WGA now has a contract with the AMPTP, SAG remains on strike, though it’s hard to embrace this as anything but a positive sign that Hot Strike Summer is almost over (especially since it’s not really summer anymore).
When both the WGA and SAG are back at work, expect a massive uptick in news on current and new projects, the return of Saturday Night Live (perhaps with Pete Davidson as host, to make up for the strike-canceled episode that never was), and the return of all your favorite actors to the red carpet, where a grateful press corps will eagerly await them.
This is a developing story…