The suspense story has been going on for almost five months and the end is near. The Writers Guild of America (WGA), the screenwriters’ union, reached an agreement in principle with the studios on Sunday, September 24.
“We have reached a new agreement in principle [accord de base minimum] 2023, which means that the agreement in principle in all aspects of the agreement is subject to the final words of the agreement”.Refers to a letter the WGA sent to its members. “This agreement is exceptional – with significant gains and protections for screenwriters across all member industries, we’re very proud to say.”Union welcomed.
The letter, which Agence France-Presse was able to consult, did not give details of the agreement, but indicated that the details were being worked out and that the final word would be in the hands of the members. The three-year contract agreement, reached after five days of intense negotiations between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), must be ratified by the guild’s board of directors and membership to officially end the strike.
Cannot return to work until further notice
“To be clear, no one should return to work until the Guild expressly approves. Until then we are on strike. But starting today, we are suspending the WGA pickets.The union added.
Thousands of film and television writers put down their pens in early May to demand better pay, better rewards for creating successful shows and protection from artificial intelligence. They have been boycotting companies like Netflix and Disney for months, and joined the actors on strike in mid-July, shutting down the entertainment industry.
The deal comes five days before what would become the longest strike in the guild’s history and the longest Hollywood strike in more than seventy years. Thanks to this deal, iconic evening shows such as those hosted by Jimmy Fallon on NBC and Jimmy Kimmel on ABC will be on the air within days.
However, no agreement has been announced regarding the actors on strike. Negotiations have not yet begun between the studios and SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists), which represents 160,000 actors working in film, television and radio.
“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resistance and solidarity on picketing”The Actors’ Union said in a statement. “We look forward to a principled review of the WGA and AMPTP agreement, and we are committed to protecting the terms our members need.”he added.
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Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass released a statement congratulating both parties on the deal, and hoping it happens soon for the cast as well.
A blockade that cost 5 billion dollars
In their demands, the writers insisted that their salaries were not adjusted for inflation. When one of their movies or series is a hit on a streaming platform, they want to earn a lot rather than getting a lump sum, regardless of the program’s popularity, usually for a very small amount.
Both industries want protection against the use of artificial intelligence (AI): actors fear having their image or voice cloned, while screenwriters may be used for AI scripts and paid less, or their scripts used for training. Robots.
The WGA strike in 2007-2008 was the longest of the screenwriters’, lasting 100 days and costing the Californian economy $2.1 billion (almost 2 billion euros). In early September, the Financial Times A Milken Institute study estimated the cost of Hollywood’s current shutdown at $5 billion.
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