In May, a record number of The Writers Guild of America (WGA) members voted to authorize a strike. On the table were issues of writer compensation, security, longevity, and more for those who create our favorite entertainment properties. For nearly 150 days, Hollywood’s writers have thusly been striking, looking to the AMPTP to come to the table with a fair deal. And happily, on September 24, the WGA and AMPTP negotiating committees reached a tentative agreement. While a final deal has not yet been put through, and the WGA strike is still in force, this is a huge step in the right direction.
The WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement. This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who stood with us for over 146 days. More details coming after contract language is finalized. #WGAStrike pic.twitter.com/GBg2wZBwGB— Writers Guild of America West (@WGAWest) September 25, 2023
In a release, the WGA shared that the tentative “deal is exceptional—with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.” What a true relief that is to hear. Our favorite shows and movies would not be possible without the writers behind them—and so it is critical that this deal be one that allows them to continue to meaningfully create and live. In addition, the landscape of the entertainment industry has greatly evolved in recent years, with streaming coming to the forefront and technologies like AI threatening to displace creators. And so, a deal that addresses all of these things from the WGA perspective is of the utmost importance.
We do not yet know the exact details of the WGA and AMPTP deal. The final contract language is not yet fully in place. However, the WGA has shared the next steps of the process. The guild notes:
Once the Memorandum of Agreement with the AMPTP is complete, the Negotiating Committee will vote on whether to recommend the agreement and send it on to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval. The Board and Council will then vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by the membership.
If that authorization is approved, the Board and Council would also vote on whether to lift the restraining order and end the strike at a certain date and time (to be determined) pending ratification. This would allow writers to return to work during the ratification vote, but would not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval.
As far as learning more about the WGA and AMPTP deal, the WGA notes, “Immediately after those leadership votes, which are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday if the language is settled, we will provide a comprehensive summary of the deal points and the Memorandum of Agreement.” If approved, this new WGA contract will last for three more years.
For now, although we love to see these great steps taken, the strike continues. Writers will not return to work until it has lifted. And, of course, it is critical to remember that the SAG-AFTRA strike also remains in effect. It is not enough for only one union to have a fair deal, but everyone must achieve one. We hope to see more news on that in the coming days. And we hope the WGA deal truly does meet all the needs of Hollywood’s writers.
Congratulations to the WGA!