Hollywood writers and studios reach tentative deal to end strike after nearly 150 days

Writers Guild of America members walk the picket line on the first day of their strike in front of Amazon studios on Tuesday, May 2, 2023, in Culver City, CA. 

Jay L. Clendenin | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

Hollywood’s writers and studios have a preliminary labor agreement.

Talks between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers resumed last week after months of starts and stops, ultimately leading to a tentative agreement that would end the ongoing writers strike.

The WGA and AMPTP are still drafting the final contract language.

“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 WGA negotiation committee wrote in a letter to members Sunday night. “It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal.”

Hollywood scribes initiated a work stoppage in early May as negotiations broke down with studios including Disney, Paramount, Universal and Warner Bros. Discovery. Television and film writers sought protections against the use of artificial intelligence, in addition to increases in compensation for streamed content.

The preliminary agreement will now need to be ratified by WGA members.

The AMPTP will now need to launch negotiations with the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. SAG-AFTRA members have been on strike since mid-July and are seeking similar contract updates to those requested by the writers.

Hollywood performers are looking to improve wages, working conditions, and health and pension benefits, as well as establish guardrails for the use of AI in future television and film productions. Additionally, the union is seeking more transparency from streaming services about viewership so that residual payments can be made equitable to linear TV.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is a member of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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