Union leaders and Hollywood studios agreed Sunday to end the historic screenwriters’ strike after nearly five months, although no deal has yet been finalized for striking actors.
The Writers Guild of America announced the deal in a joint statement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the group that represents studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations.
The three-year contract agreement, reached after five marathon renegotiations by negotiators from the Writers Guild of America and an alliance of studios, streaming services and production companies, must be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike officially ends. .
Terms of the deal were not immediately announced. A tentative deal to end the last writers’ strike in 2008 was approved by more than 90 percent of members.
Late night network shows including NBC as a result of the deal The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and the ABCs Jimmy Kimmel Live! could be back in the air within a few days.
But as writers prepare to potentially reopen their laptops, business-as-usual in Hollywood is far from over, as negotiations have yet to resume between studios and prominent actors. Staff members who are out of a job will remain unemployed for the time being.
The strike shows in limbo
The proposed settlement of the writers’ strike comes after talks resumed on Wednesday for the first time in a month. It is reported that top executives including Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley.
About 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America walked out on May 2 over pay, the size of the writing staff on shows and the use of artificial intelligence in scripting. The actors who joined the strike in July have their own problems, but there have been no discussions about resuming negotiations with their union.
The writers’ strike immediately sent late-night talk shows and Saturday Night Live on hiatus, and has since sent dozens of scripted shows and other productions, including upcoming seasons to Netflix. Stranger Thingsof HBO The Last of Usand ABC’s Abbot Elementary, and movies including Deadpool 3: and: Superman. Inheritance.
The Emmy Awards were also moved from September to January.
Targeted talk shows
Recently, writers have targeted talk shows that have worked around strike rules to return to the air, including The Drew Barrymore Show, Real Time with Bill Maher and: The conversation. All have turned in the face of pickets and pressure, and will probably soon turn back now.
The combined strikes created a watershed moment in Hollywood as the creative workforce pitted against executives in a business transformed and disrupted by technology, from the seismic shift to streaming in recent years to the potential paradigm shift of AI in future years.
Screenwriters have traditionally struck more than any other part of the industry, but enjoyed a relatively long stretch of labor peace until spring negotiations over a new contract collapsed. The shutout was their first since 2007 and their longest since 1988.
On July 14, more than two months into the strike, the writers received a dose of solidarity and star power, along with many new picketing partners, when they were joined by 65,000 striking film and television actors.
It was the first time since 1960 that the two groups went on strike together. This time, the studios chose to deal with the writers.
AMPTP first proposed resuming negotiations in August. The meetings were short, infrequent and ineffective, and the talks fell silent for another month.
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