Deal! WGA, AMPTP Reach Historic Contract Agreement to End 146-Day Writers Strike: ‘This Deal is Exception’ |

Deal! WGA, AMPTP Reach Historic Contract Agreement to End 146-Day Writers Strike: ‘This Deal is Exception’

After several long consecutive days of negotiations, the Writers Guild of America and the labor group representing studios and streamers have reached a tentative deal on a new contract in a major development that could precipitate the end of a historic, 146-day writers’ strike.

via: Variety

The nitty-gritty details of language around the use of generative AI in content production was one of the last items that the sides worked on before closing the pact.

“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 wrote in an email to sent to members at 7:10 p.m. PT (Full text below).

The three-year contract will be sent to WGA members for a ratification vote. After nearly five months on strike – the work stoppage began May 2 – it’s highly likely to pass muster with the WGA’s 11,000 members, especially with the enthusiastic endorsement of WGA leaders. As momentum built this week, negotiators began to look at the approach of the Yom Kippur holiday on Sunday as a soft target deadline.

No doubt – the WGA prevailed in forcing Hollywood’s largest employers to address the guild’s major priorities in the first full-fledged contract negotiation since 2017 (the 2020 talks were hampered by the pandemic). The guild’s insistence in achieving a minimum guaranteed staff level for episodic TV was considered an extreme long-shot when the contract discussions began in March. The unwavering support of the vast majority of WGA members was the muscle that allowed the guild’s negotiating committee, led by Chris Keyser and David Goodman, to dig in on priority issues. They achieved a new-model streaming residual formula that should help fellow striking union SAG-AFTRA in its quest to achieve a revenue-based residual. The WGA’s formula amounts to a bonus system based on pre-determined, high-bar performance benchmarks for individual titles. But it’s nonetheless more than industry dealmakers predicted the guild would secure when the first round of WGA-AMPTP talks began in earnest last spring.

The end of the WGA strike will hasten the end of SAG-AFTRA’s walkout. It will also start the process of returning the creative community to its typical cycles of production, distribution, marketing and promotion cycle for content. Production of TV and film has been in state of turmoil since the start of the year when production slowed down in the face of the May 1 deadline set by the WGA’s contract expiration.

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