LOS ANGELES — Labor leaders and Hollywood studios reached a tentative agreement Sunday to end a historic screenwriters’ strike after nearly five months, although no deal is yet in the works for the 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 the AMPTP,” the guild said in an email to members. “This was made possible by the continued solidarity of WGA members and the extraordinary support of our union brothers and sisters who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days.”
NOTE: The video above is from a previous report.
The three-year contract agreement, reached after five marathon days of renewed talks between negotiators WGA and AMPTP, must be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike officially ends.
In a lengthy message from the guild shared by members on social media, the authors were told that the strike was not over and no one would be allowed to return to work until known otherwise, but that picketing should stop immediately.
Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed. The tentative agreement to end the last writers’ strike in 2008 was approved by more than 90% of members.
The agreement comes just five days before the longest strike in the guild’s history and the longest Hollywood strike in more than 70 years.
As a result of the agreement, nightly network shows such as NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” could get back into the air within a few days.
But as writers prepare to potentially open their laptops again, it’s far from business as usual in Hollywood, as talks between studios and the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – have not yet resumed . Crew members who no longer have work due to the interruption will remain unemployed for the time being.
“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the 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 WGA and AMPTP, we remain committed to achieving the necessary conditions for our members.”
The statement said the guild continues to “urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and get the fair deal our members deserve and demand.”
The proposed solution to the writers’ strike came after talks resumed on Wednesday, or for the first time in a month. Executives such as Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley reportedly took part directly in the negotiations.
This was accomplished without the intervention of federal mediators or other government officials that had been necessary in previous strikes.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement congratulating both sides on the deal and saying she was confident the same could happen soon with the actors.
“Now we must focus on getting the entertainment industry and all the small businesses that depend on it back on their feet,” Bass said.
About 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America quit their jobs on May 2 over questions about pay, the size of the writing team on shows and the use of artificial intelligence in script creation. Actors who joined the writers’ strike in July have their own problems, but there have been no discussions yet about resuming negotiations with their union.
The writers’ strike brought late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live” to an immediate halt and has since put dozens of scripted shows and other productions in limbo, including upcoming seasons of Netflix’s “Stranger Things” and 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 postponed from September to January.
More recently, the writers have targeted talk shows that bypass strike rules to get back on the air, including “The Drew Barrymore Show,” “Real Time With Bill Maher” and “The Talk.” All have changed course in the face of the pickets and pressure and are now likely to return quickly.
The joint strikes created a defining moment in Hollywood, pitting creative workers against executives in a business transformed and torn apart by technology, from the seismic shift to streaming in recent years to the potentially paradigm-shifting emergence of AI in the coming years.
Traditionally, screenwriters have gone on strike more often than any other industry, but enjoyed a relatively long period of industrial peace until negotiations over a new contract collapsed in the spring. The strike was their first since 2007 and their longest since 1988.
On July 14, more than two months after the strike began, the writers got a dose of solidarity and star power — along with a whole host of new picket 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. In this strike, the writers’ strike began first and ended second. This time, the studios decided to go with the writers first.
The AMPTP first came forward in August and proposed a resumption of negotiations. The meetings were short, irregular and unproductive, and conversations remained silent for another month.