The Writers Guild of America (WGA) strike is finally over after 148 days. The WGA announced on Tuesday that the strike will officially conclude on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 12:01 a.m. PST.
This announcement comes after the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached a tentative agreement on Sunday for a new three-year contract covering film and TV writers. The WGA West Board and WGA East Council unanimously voted to recommend ratification of the new Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA).
WGA members will vote whether to ratify the contract next week, between October 2-9. Once ratified, writers can return to work as early as September 28.
The new contract addresses key issues for writers including protections around artificial intelligence (AI), increased streaming residuals, minimum pay increases, and improvements to healthcare provisions.
On AI, the agreement states AI cannot be used to undermine a writer’s credit or rights. Writers must be informed if material was generated by AI, and cannot be forced to use it by employers. The WGA is also allowed to deem a company’s use of writers’ material to train AI as unlawful.
For streaming, platforms must share viewing data with the WGA. Writers will receive significant bonus residuals if a show or movie is viewed by over 20% of a platform’s subscribers in the first 90 days.
Other gains include higher minimum pay rates, longer guaranteed staffing periods for writers’ rooms, and expanded streaming residuals. While the WGA sought a minimum 6 writers per room, they conceded to 3 writer-producers plus 2-3 more for seasons with 7+ episodes.
At 148 days, this was the 2nd longest strike in WGA history behind the 153-day 1988 strike. The SAG-AFTRA strike continues as that union pushes for a fair deal from the AMPTP. With the WGA strike resolved, hopefully an agreement can be reached soon.
This historic WGA strike and hard-fought contract proves that collective action can lead to meaningful change even when taking on powerful media conglomerates. The gains made will improve working conditions for writers today and set new standards for the future.
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