Things are looking up in Hollywood tonight!
From the Writers Guild of America, here is the word on the outcome of today’s negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers:
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.
What we have won in this contract – most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd – 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 – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.
What remains now is for our staff to make sure everything we have agreed to is codified in final contract language. And though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last “i” is dotted. To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again – one last time.
Once the Memorandum of Agreement with the AMPTP is complete, the Negotiating Committee will vote on whether to recommend the agreement and send it on to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval. The Board and Council will then vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by the membership.
If that authorization is approved, the Board and Council would also vote on whether to lift the restraining order and end the strike at a certain date and time (to be determined) pending ratification. This would allow writers to return to work during the ratification vote, but would not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval.
Immediately after those leadership votes, which are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday if the language is settled, we will provide a comprehensive summary of the deal points and the Memorandum of Agreement. We will also convene meetings where members will have the opportunity to learn more about and assess the deal before voting on ratification.
To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then. But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing. Instead, if you are able, we encourage you to join the SAG-AFTRA picket lines this week.
Finally, we appreciated your patience as you waited for news from us — and had to fend off rumors — during the last few days of the negotiation. Please wait for further information from the Guild. We will have more to share with you in the coming days, as we finalize the contract language and go through our unions’ processes.
As always, thank you for your support. You will hear from us again very soon.
NPI congratulates the WGA (WGAW and WGAE) on reaching an agreement in principle with the studios that will hopefully ensure the future of the writing profession in the entertainment industry. With few details to scrutinize at this time, we don’t have much to go on, but it does sound promising.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the accord “would boost pay rates and residual payments for streaming shows and impose new rules surrounding the use of artificial intelligence.” It took four long days of negotiations to hammer out the agreement in principle, which saw personal involvement from studio chiefs.
“Day 4 on Saturday mostly involved lawyers for the guild and AMPTP hashing out the fine print of language around complicated and groundbreaking additions to the WGA’s Minimum Basic Agreement,” Variety reported. “The nitty-gritty details of language around the use of generative AI in content production was one of the last items that the sides worked on before closing the pact.
This news undoubtedly comes as a relief to a lot of people in showbiz, especially in the Los Angeles and New York metropolitan areas. However, before Hollywood can get back to normal business, the studios will also need to reach an accord with the actors, who remain on strike, as the WGA pointed out.
“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,” said the actors’ union 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,” the message went on to say.
“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.”
“Though still tentative in nature, the agreement is a momentous development for an industry that has been hobbled by the double WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes, the first time both have occurred at once in over sixty years,” The Hollywood Reporter pointed out in its story on the reaching of the agreement.
“The WGA strike had an immediate impact: Filming in Los Angeles declined 29 percent between April and June 2023 compared with the same period last year as the writers’ work stoppage began May 2, local office FilmLA reported on April 19. A wide array of major projects were halted in their tracks and/or postponed, including Netflix’s Stranger Things, Apple TV+’s Loot, Marvel’s Blade 2 and Thunderbolts and others. When SAG-AFTRA joined the stoppage, a number of additional projects including Venom 3, Gladiator 2 and Deadpool 3 followed.”