The Writers Guild of America says it has reached an agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers after a 146-day strike that crippled Hollywood.
The tentative three-year agreement ends the longest strike in the guild's history and comes after marathon negotiating sessions between the WGA and AMPTP over the weekend. The agreement still needs to be ratified by the WGA's 11,500 members.
The debate was a key issue in the negotiations, with artificial intelligence being used in film and TV writing. The WGA sought strict limits on AI-written scripts, while studios wanted more leeway to explore the emerging technology. The deal, announced yesterday, includes groundbreaking additions to AI, though it remains uncertain how much detail will be involved.
The ongoing debate over AI highlights worries among writers that the technology may eventually displace human creatives, some saying Decrypt that AI isn't writing-it's scraping other people's work... it's a plagiarizing machine. The studios say AI can be a collaboration tool to aid writers, not replace them completely.
How the new contract balances those views will become clear when specifics emerge. It was a major sticking point for AI legislation, and it was a major sticking point.
Beyond AI, the proposed pact also reportedly includes gains for writer pay and residuals, especially for shows on streaming platforms.
The Los Angeles Times reported the strike was made possible by the 'willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity' through the strike.
The strike began on May 2 as the contract of WGA expired without a new deal in place. It caused film and TV production to go haywire, halting work on numerous high-profile movies and shows.
The Hollywood Reporter quotes the work stoppage as a response to worries that shorter TV seasons and the rise of streaming have cut into writers' compensation. streaming shows often have fewer episodes compared to network TV.
The strike impacted filming in Los Angeles, a decline of 29% in the second quarter compared to last year, according to data from the non-profit FilmLA.
Many Hollywood workers face financial difficulties as the stoppage dragged on. Some crew members, who fled state, risked losing health coverage, or struggled to pay their bills without steady studio work, Variety reported.
The studios felt pressure as costs mounted and releases were delayed. Netflix rescheduled the new season of its hit Stranger Things, while other major projects like Marvel's Blade sequel remain stalled.
The WGA statement said that the enduring solidarity of guild members provided leverage after months of unsuccessful talks to reach an agreement with studios hope to resume production.
The studios were represented by AMPTP, which includes entertainment giants like Netflix, Disney, Warner Bros., Discovery, Sony and Amazon.
Now, the focus is on the WGA's upcoming ratification vote on the deal. The negotiating committee said it will provide detailed details of the agreement before members vote.
The strike remains effective until the process is completed. The AMPTP president, Carol Lombardini, will likely now shift focus to negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild, which has been on strike since mid-July.
Getting actors back on set is crucial for studios hoping to resume production on films and shows impacted by the dual strikes.
If writers ratify their contract and actors follow suit, the entertainment industry will experience a collective sigh of relief. After months of lost wages and production delays, restarting the creative engine in Hollywood won't happen overnight.
This story was drafted with Decrypt AI from sources referenced in the text, and fact-checked by Ozawa.