It’s a deal: Tentative agreement reached to end writers strike

LOS ANGELES — It’s a deal. The Writers Guild of America and major studios, along with streamers, reached a tentative agreement on Sunday on a new three-year contract that could end the 146-day strike.

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The WGA has been on strike since May 2. The agreement reached on Sunday must be approved by the guild’s board and members before the strike can officially end, according to Variety.

The WGA and representatives of the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers spent Sunday negotiating for the fifth consecutive day, the magazine reported.

The guild emailed strike captains the news of the impending deal on Sunday night, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language,” the message stated. “We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional -- with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”

The tentative deal does not immediately end the strike, since the terms must be ratified by the guild.

“To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then,” the WGA wrote in their email. “But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing.” The Guild encouraged members to join the picket line for the actors’ strike instead this week.

Representatives for the studios hammered out language regarding regulations on artificial intelligence, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Another point of contention had been the WGA’s minimum basic agreement, such as a formula for a minimum staff guarantee for episodic TV and a “success-based” residual from subscription platforms that would be earmarked for the writers’ pension and health funds, Variety reported.

The three-year contract will be sent to WGA members for a ratification vote, according to the entertainment news website. It is highly likely to pass after the WGA’s 11,000 members vote on the deal.

The deal to end the last writers strike, in 2008, was approved by more than 90% of the WGA’s membership, according to The Associated Press. That strike lasted 154 days, CNN reported.

If the WGA board and membership ratify the deal, the next step for the AMPTP is to make a deal with the Screen Actors Guild - American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, according to Deadline.

The end of the impasse means that late-night comedy shows and daytime talk shows will be able to return almost immediately to the air because those shows were not included in the SAG-AFTRA strike, Deadline reported.

The SAG-AFTRA work stoppage began on July 14, Variety reported. Films and scripted TV shows that did not sign interim agreements with the union will remain dark until that strike is settled, Deadline reported.

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