Hollywood writers on the cusp of ending strike after reaching tentative agreement

Actors are still on strike, but the Writers Guild of America says it struck an 'exceptional' deal after 5 days of marathon talks

Hollywood writers celebrate tentative contract
Hollywood writers celebrate tentative contract
(Image credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Writers Guild of America and Hollywood studios announced Sunday night that they have reached a tentative agreement to end the 146-day writers strike. The terms of the three-year contract were not disclosed, but the WGA negotiators told the union's 11,500 striking members late Sunday that they "can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership."

The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) — on strike since July 14 — and the Directors Guild of America congratulated the WGA on the tentative contract.  

Lawyers for the WGA and the studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), will now finalize the language of the new contract. If the codified agreements are finished in time, the WGA's East Coast and West Coast boards will vote on the deal on Tuesday. The boards could also vote to end the strike, pending ratification by WGA members. Picketing was suspended Sunday. During the 2008 writers strike, guild members approved the contract two days after the WGA boards, per The Associated Press, and 90% of members voted yes. 

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Sunday's breakthrough followed five days of intensive talks between the WGA and AMPTP. The writers, on strike since May 2, were seeking better pay, minimum writing staffs on shows, compensation for successful streaming series, and guarantees against the use of artificial intelligence to create scripts. The final obstacle to a deal was the AI component, which the AMPTP originally balked at including in the contract talks, The New York Times reported. 

Assuming the WGA members approve the deal, work will begin soon at talk shows and late night comedy shows, which were the first to go off the air after the strike. Late night TV is expected to resume in October, though it isn't clear if any actors could appear to talk about their projects due to the ongoing actors strike.

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