HOLLYWOOD—Almost 148 days, that is the time frame that members of the Writer’s Guild of America have been on strike after not reaching a deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Yeah, May 2023 seems so long ago, but news surfaced late Sunday on September 24 that a tentative agreement has been reached between the WGA and AMPTP.

This is excellent news, but comes with slight trepidation as members of the WGA still have to vote on the agreement, but this is solid news to hear people. The new agreement would be over 3 years, but details on the actual terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, but I would imagine issues involving artificial intelligence, raises for streaming and probably better residuals.

Now with that said, everyone is thinking, oh, everything will go back to normal. Not quite. The only thing you will see resume are the daytime talk shows (many which have been off the air for months) and the return of late-night talk shows, who are VERY DEPENDENT on writer’s people. In terms of your favorite TV series, they are still on hold. Why?

Well, the Screen Actors Guild and the AMPTP have not come to terms on a new agreement. So while the writers might be able to resume crafting stories and content, nothing will go into production without the actors coming to an agreement either. So it is indeed a double-edged sword. Why? When the writers first went on strike, anything that was already written could still be in production because the actors were NOT on strike at the time. However, after July 12, the actors hit the picket lines and all production on any film or TV projects stopped immediately.

Some projects were given waivers by SAG, but I think even plenty of those projects halted because you didn’t want to appear as a traitor to your union by working while others weren’t able to do so. So once a deal is officially signed on the line by the writers, the focus will be on SAG and if they can come to an agreement. For those who are insiders or know plenty about the entertainment industry, the big fight is going to be residuals where the actors and actresses literally make pennies on projects that are airing re-runs or in syndication. Yeah, troubling to say the least, which means the studios are going to have to step up majorly to fix this problem.

Then there is plenty of talk involving AI yet again and the possible use of fake actors in the background, so even background actors are becoming an issue with a new contract. Yeah, many of us like to think actors make millions, but that is not the reality. Those are the big time names that have been in the industry and are considered power players. The everyday actor is NOT making $20 million plus a movie like Denzel Washington people, and the studios have been quite stingy in terms of spreading the wealth and providing some level of security for those members of SAG-AFTRA who need it the most.

If a deal is NOT reached with the actors, we’re still at a stalemate in the entertainment industry because nothing of substantive value can go into production. No movies people, no serialized TV series, you’ll still see reality TV which is so dominate now it is a bit boring. Hell, the talk shows that are on are highlighting reality stars because actors cannot promote any projects as a result of the continuing strike.

You can tell the impact of movies at the box-office as those flicks that are not seeing the promotion that movies before the strike commenced witnessed. I mean “The Expendables 4” flat-lined at the box-office, probably because not many people heard about it. “The Equalizer 3” would have seen even bigger receipts if Washington was able to promote the movie properly without restrictions connected to the SAG-AFTRA guidelines for members. I don’t care about entertainment for TV so much at the moment because there is so much content out there. I am concerned about those who are not working and facing financial struggles as a result of the strike.

When it comes to cinema I am concerned because I feel like if an agreement is reached it is going to take such a long time to get production to resume there may be no content to put out in theaters and that is an issue. Why? It is going to impact movie theaters if there are no films to premiere, people are not going to go, which means revenue loss, potential job loss as a result.

If the writers got what they wanted, I’m sure the actors are going to be fighting to get exactly everything they want. The question remains if the studios are willing to give even more because after 5 months the writer’s strike has hurt the industry and if production doesn’t resume before 2024 the impact is going to be massive.