HOLLYWOOD—It was announced on Tuesday, September 26 that the Writer’s Guild of America and Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers that at 12:01 a.m. PT Wednesday, September 27 the strike would end as a result of a vote for guild leaders that allows close to 11,500 members to begin picking up pencils and writing on their computers again.
As a result of the strike that commenced in May 2023 it halted writers from doing any rewrites, pitching, selling of screenplays, taking meetings and revising any notes provided to them. The strike which began in May 2023 has lasted over 5 months, a total of 148 days and is the second longest strike in the union’s history behind the strike of 1988 that lasted 153 days. Members still have to vote to ratify the contract which will take place Monday, October 2 thru Monday, October 9. Members can attend informational meetings about the new deal via Zoom in New York and Los Angeles in the next week.
Details of a tentative deal was reached on Sunday, September 24 after chatter with heads of major studios including Disney’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discover’s David Zaslav, NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, and Netflix’s Ted Sarandos.
The new contract will last for 3 years (September 25, 2023 thru May 1, 2026), and includes a 5 percent increase for the first year, a 4 percent increase effective May 2, 2024 and a 3.5 percent increase effective May 2, 2025. Writers can utilize artificial intelligence as a tool if hired by a company that allows it but are not required to utilize AI to craft a script. The new agreement will also have transparency when it comes to streaming programs and services and the data being accessible in some capacity.
While the writer’s strike may be over, the actor’s strike is ongoing. With the end of the writer’s strike, late night talk shows and daytime talk shows may soon return to the airwaves after being off the air for months. Recent daytime talk shows like The Talk, The Drew Barrymore Show and the Jennifer Hudson Show were slated to return mid-September, but after backlash from the entertainment industry those shows delayed returning to TV.
Without SAG-AFTRA coming to an agreement, no new productions for TV series or films will take place until a deal is reached for the actors, who have been on strike since July 12, 2023. “At this time, we have no confirmed dates schedule to meet with the AMPTP. When we do have dates confirmed, we will inform you. Unless you hear it from us, its hearsay,” SAG-AFTRA indicated in a statement via Instagram.
Currently, actors are prohibited from promoting any projects as a result of the actor’s strike, including appearances on talk shows or promoting upcoming film releases.
On Tuesday, September 26, the SAG-AFTRA Members approved a video game strike authorization with a vote of 98.32 percent voting yes on the Interactive Media Agreement ahead of a return to negotiations. Big issues delaying an agreement with SAG-AFTRA include wage increases, revenue from streaming projects and concerns about artificial intelligence.