LOS ANGELES (AP) — Union leaders and Hollywood studios reached a tentative agreement Sunday to end a historic writers’ strike after nearly five months, although no deal is yet in the works for striking actors .
The Writers Guild of America announced the deal in a joint statement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the group that represents studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations.
“WGA has reached a tentative agreement with AMPTP,” the guild said in an email to members. “This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and the extraordinary support of our union brothers and sisters who joined us on the picket lines for more than 146 days. »
Fall 2023 TV Preview: Your Guide to New and Old Shows
ABC to broadcast 10 additional ‘Monday Night Football’ games due to writer, cast strikes
The three-year contract agreement – reached after five marathon days of renewed negotiations between WGA and AMPTP negotiators, sometimes joined by studio executives – must be approved by the board of directors and members of the guild before the official end of the strike.
In a longer guild post shared by members on social media, writers were informed that the strike was not over and that no one should return to work until notified otherwise, but that picketing should be suspended immediately.
Terms of the deal were not immediately announced. The agreement in principle to end the last writers’ strike, in 2008, was approved by more than 90% of members.
The agreement comes just five days before the strike became the longest in the guild’s history and Hollywood’s longest strike, more than 70 years.
Through the deal, late-night TV shows including NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” could return to the air within a few days.
But as writers prepare to open their laptops again, it’s far from business as usual in Hollywood, as talks have yet to resume between the studios and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Crew members who found themselves out of work following the shutdown will remain unemployed for the time being.
“SAG-AFTRA applauds the WGA for reaching a tentative agreement with AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resilience and solidarity on the picket lines,” the actors union said in a statement. “While we look forward to reviewing the tentative agreement between the WGA and AMPTP, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members.
The statement said the guild continues to “urge studio and streamer CEOs and AMPTP to return to the table and reach the fair deal our members deserve and demand.”
The proposed solution to the writers’ strike came after negotiations resumed on Wednesday for the first time in a month. Executives such as Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros.’ David Zaslav. Discovery and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley were reportedly directly involved in the negotiations.
This goal was achieved without the intervention of federal mediators or other government officials, which had been necessary in previous strikes.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass released a statement congratulating both sides on the deal and said she hoped the same thing could happen with the actors soon.
California Governor Gavin Newsom did the same, saying writers “went on strike in the face of existential threats to their careers and livelihoods – expressing real concerns about stress and anxiety felt by workers. I am grateful that the two sides came together.
About 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America walked off the job May 2 over concerns about pay, the size of the shows’ writing staff and the use of artificial intelligence in creating storylines. The actors, who joined the writers on strike in July, have their own problems but there have been no discussions yet about resuming negotiations with their union.
The writers’ strike immediately paused late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live,” and has since sent dozens of scripted shows and other productions into limbo, including upcoming seasons of ” Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” HBO’s “The Last of Us,” and ABC’s “Abbot Elementary,” as well as films like “Deadpool 3” and “Superman: Legacy.” The Emmy Awards were also pushed back from September to January.
More recently, writers have targeted talk shows that skirted strike rules to return to the air, including “The Drew Barrymore Show,” “Real Time With Bill Maher” and “The Talk.” All have turned around in the face of picketing and pressure, and they are expected to return quickly.
The combined strikes were a pivotal moment in Hollywood, as creative workers took on the leaders of an industry transformed and torn apart by technology, from the seismic shift toward streaming in recent years to the potentially revolutionary emergence of AI in the years to come.
Screenwriters had traditionally struck more than any other segment of the industry, but had enjoyed a relatively long period of labor peace until spring negotiations for a new contract broke down. This is the first walkout since 2007 and the longest since 1988.
On July 14, after more than two months on strike, writers received a dose of solidarity and star power – along with many new picket partners – when they were joined by 65,000 film and television actors striking.
It was the first time the two groups had struck together since 1960. In this walkout, the writers’ strike started first and ended second. This time, the studios chose to deal first with the writers.
The AMPTP first proposed resuming negotiations in August. The meetings were short, infrequent and unproductive, and discussions remained silent for another month.
Need plans for the weekend?
The best things to do in town, delivered to your inbox.