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It’s a Deal: Hollywood Writers Reach Tentative Agreement To End Strike

It’s a Deal!

Hollywood writers have reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios/streamers to end the almost five-month-long strike.

The WGA[Writers Guild of America] and AMPTP {Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers] have reached a tentative agreement — a joint statement via Deadline: Hollywood.

After five consecutive days of negotiations (the first three with Hollywood CEOs — Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav and NBC Universal’s Donna Langley) the two sides reached an agreement in principle tonight on all the deal points, subject to drafting the final contract language.

Related: Striking Writers Bargaining Directly With CEOs = Cautious Optimism for Deal

The strike isn’t over until the deal is ratified by guild members but picketing is suspended.

The WGA has been on strike since May 2nd and SAG-AFTRA since July 14th.

*The Good Doctor showrunner David Shore is on the WGA Negotiating Committee.

At Issue:

Writers say the big push into streaming services has turned full-time careers into a “gig economy”. Writers could work on a 20+ episodes show for almost a year in the golden era of network television. Now episode orders are half that or less. And there is no upside if the show is a streaming success because streamers won’t share data about viewership and streamer residuals are fixed not viewership-based. Put that all together and writers are earning less despite the boom in content.

Streaming residuals:

The WGA wants an increased fixed residual and the establishment of a viewership-based residual to reward success.

Updated AMPTP offer:: Streamers will share statistics about viewership data — the total number of hours streamed, both domestically and internationally of high-budget original movies or series — with the WGA confidentially. There will be a new success-based residual if movies or shows are viewed by 20% of a streamer’s American subscribers within the first 90 days.

Minimum Staffing Requirements:

The WGA wants shows over a certain number of episodes to have a minimum number of writers Instead of mini-rooms, where two or three writers are hired at union minimum wage to map out whole seasons before production starts. The guild wants to restore writers’ rooms to six or more writers who work for the whole season and get on-set producing experience in order to train the next generation of showrunners.

Updated AMPTP offer:: Development rooms to have at minimum 10 consecutive weeks of employment and writers rooms to have minimum 20 weeks. Staffing minimum of three writer-producers plus two or three more writers if the season has seven or more episodes.

Generative Artificial Intelligence Software:

The WGA wants to prevent the studios and streamers from using generative AI software . to write scripts which could replace them and from training A.I. on existing WGA scripts.

Updated AMPTP offer:: A.I. can’t write or rewrite “literary material” and AI-generated material will not be considered source material used to undermine a writer’s credit.. 

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