In May, the whole world watched as the Writers Guild of America went on strike. While there were many reasons that triggered this walkout, one of the major issues was residuals for shows on streaming services, which pay writers a much smaller amount than television networks. After months of bringing Hollywood to a virtual standstill, it seems like the protests have finally secured a tentative agreement with major studios.
This announcement comes after 146 days of striking. If the agreement goes through, it will not only help current writers in Hollywood, but future workers as well. “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's negotiating committee writes. For now, the details are unavailable as it is still in the finalizing process. “What we have won in this contract—most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd—is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days,” the committee adds.
SAG-AFTRA also offered its congratulations to the WGA for reaching a potential agreement with the Association of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP). “SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resiliency, and solidarity on the picket lines,” SAG-AFTRA says in a statement. “Since the day the WGA strike began, SAG-AFTRA members have stood alongside the writers on the picket lines. We remain on strike in our TV/Theatrical contract and continue to urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and make the fair deal that our members deserve and demand.” SAG-AFTRA's strike has been going on since July 14.
Members of both unions hope this agreement will pave the way for more job security for people in the WGA and SAG-AFTRA. “This was for the folks who are coming up behind me—that they have the opportunity to make a living,” Sal Calleros, writer and WGA strike captain, says. “So if we reached a good agreement on those big areas concerning residuals, AI, the number of writers in the room… Then the folks behind us will then have a shot to make this an actual career.”
While the fight for adequate pay and job security is not over yet, this development offers much-needed hope for writers, actors, and other workers in the industry.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has tentatively reached an agreement with studios.
This agreement comes after 146 days of strike.
— Eric Haywood (@EricHaywood) September 25, 2023
Although it is not finalized yet, writers are already expressing their relief.
No, Im really crying right now. This strike has been so hard. Necessary and invigorating, and really fucking hard. But we did it! We fought together. We didn’t take any shit together. We fucking did it! Thank you, wholeheartedly, to our Negcom team. Unions forever. WGA forever✊
— alex zaragoza (@byalexzaragoza) September 25, 2023