The beginning of the end. The writers union (Writers Guild of America or WGA), which represents more than 11,000 members, and the main Hollywood companies and studios (AMPTP) reached this Sunday night an agreement in principle that can resolve the writers’ strike of cinema and television. This will mean ending, if approved, one of the longest strikes in the entertainment industry. The actors will continue their protest.
“The WGA has reached an agreement in principle with the AMPTP,” the union said in a statement. “This has been possible thanks to the longstanding solidarity of WGA members and the extraordinary support of sister unions who have united on the picket lines for 146 days,” he added.
Their challenge will have the desired reward by achieving most of the things they sought, such as an increase in royalty payments for the dissemination of content on the platforms and the guarantee that artificial intelligence will not invade the credits or compensation of the writers.
Thousands of screenwriters went on strike on May 2, almost five months ago, after the union failed to reach an agreement on a new contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the industry association that negotiates on behalf of studios and streaming services such as Disney or Netflix, among others.
However, this principle of agreement does not guarantee the end of the strike. Union members must give their approval and formally vote to end the plan. This does not affect Hollywood actors, who will continue their strike, which began in July, until their union (SAG-AFTRA) reaches an agreement with the studios.
The representation of the actors and the studios have yet to begin negotiating, according to various sources, while the screenwriters and the industry once again established conservations last Wednesday. At the beginning of the talks this Sunday the positions had already become closer and everything indicated a positive attitude between the two sides that concluded in that principle of pact.
Screenwriters and actors have very similar demands, which include higher remuneration, a larger portion of royalties, what is known as residuals, which are income from repeated reproductions of their works over time, as well as as a strict protection against the use of artificial intelligence.
The strike has caused great disruption to the film and television business, leaving thousands of people out of work, causing production to come to a complete halt, from big-budget films to late-night shows on the small screen and streaming series. Writers and actors confessed in interviews to the serious financial difficulties caused by the closure of the industry, but considered it a necessary evil for their survival in the future.
The studies have also not hidden the great harm suffered. Warner Bros. Discovery alone acknowledged that the negative impact amounted to $500 million.
The strikes come amid intense structural upheaval in Hollywood, which is grappling with how to successfully embrace the digital age, survive the decline of viewers in traditional streaming entertainment and the emergence of artificial intelligence, which is causing anxiety. about the future of creative professions.
The last time the writers’ union went on strike was in November 2007, at a time when they were mainly demanding better salaries. That now seems like something from another era. It then lasted 100 days, ending on February 12, 2008. The longest strike took place in 1988, reaching 154 days.