One Down, One to Go — Has the Writers Strike Just Ended?

Did the writers strike just end? No, and SAG-AFTRA are also on strike.

It happened. After 146 days of protesting, picketing, and marching under the Hollywood sun, it happened. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has scored a tentative contract that will most likely end this year’s writers strike. 

Since May of 2023, the WGA has been in a dispute with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The AMPTP is an institution that does contract negotiations on behalf of the Hollywood studio system. It was also not interested in giving screenwriters better streaming service residuals and banning scripts that were written by artificial intelligence. 

These factors, amongst others, led to the WGA going on strike. It was only in August that the WGA and the AMPTP returned to the negotiating table. 

However, all of this is the past now. ‘Cause the WGA and the AMPTP have reached a consensus

“We have reached a tentative agreement… Which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language,” the WGA said in a statement. 

“What we have won in this contract, most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2, 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. 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.”

“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional,” WGA additionally noted, “with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”

When Does the Writers Strike End?

Now, it’s worth noting that this deal isn’t a done deal yet. A number of WGA members still need to sign off on this proposal. This means that the current situation is still a tad tense.

“To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorised to by the Guild,” the WGA said. “We are still on strike until then. But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing.”

What’s more, the WGA hasn’t formally detailed what its membership is scoring from this agreement. Its members will instead receive a comprehensive summary of the deal in the coming days. This deal will then be discussed and voted on.

So, when will the writers strike end? Well, a resolution’s still a hot minute away from being finalised.

A Couple of Online Reactions

Since the WGA made this announcement, a tonne of Hollywood screenwriters have expounded their emotions across the web. These writers include the likes of Adam Conover and Justin Halpern. Conover has created the likes of Adam Ruins Everything, while Halpern is co-showrunner of Abbott Elementary.

“We did it,” said Conover. “We have a tentative deal.”

“Over the coming days, we’ll discuss and vote on it, together, as a democratic union. But today, I want to thank every single WGA member and every fellow worker who stood with us in solidarity. You made this possible. Thank you.”

Likewise, Halpern wrote, “Just a heads up, please know that even after the end of the strike, if you are a writer still experiencing financial problems because of it, you can still access the WGA strike fund.”

SAG-AFTRA — Another Picket Line

SAG-AFTRA: The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Like the WGA, SAG-AFTRA is also on strike. This union wants its members to receive higher minimum wages, better streaming service residuals, and safer working conditions.

To score such improvements, SAG-AFTRA must reach a settlement with the AMPTP. According to SAG-AFTRA, the AMPTP has abandoned negotiating, and they want them to come back to the table. 

“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resiliency, and solidarity on the picket lines,” the Guild said in a statement. “While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members.”

“Since the day the WGA strike began, SAG-AFTRA members have stood alongside the writers on the picket lines. We remain on strike in our TV/Theatrical contract and continue to urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and make the fair deal that our members deserve and demand.”

It’s not over til it’s over. For the time being, the protest rages on. 

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