We all know about the chaotic situation due to the ongoing Hollywood Writer’s Strike, the second-longest strike in Hollywood history.
But have you heard the news that the strike is over? Yes, the writer’s strike has finally ended!
An announcement has been made that The Writers Guild of America (WGA), representatives of Hollywood writers, and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), an association of Hollywood’s largest studios and production companies, has reached a deal which favors both the parties.
For all those people who aren’t familiar with the news or looking for a detailed description, this article is for you. I will provide an explanation of the Hollywood writer’s strike and also state the final deal that ended this months-long strike.
Dive in with me to learn more about the strike!
What is the Hollywood Writer’s Strike About?
Initially, writers negotiated with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for six weeks. But when all their attempts failed to make the opponent understand their point, they decided to strike.
The discussion about the strike started around April when the writers were given a choice to vote on authorizing a strike by WGA. The majority of the writers voted ‘yes,’ hence a contract was made. Officially, on May 2, 2023, the writer’s strike began with a strong determination to fight against their rights.
Writers initiated this strike due to a plethora of reasons. The reasons were:
- Writing compensation has been negatively affected since ‘streaming’ has taken over the industry. Higher compensation was one of the demands by the writers
- Mini rooms are provided to the writers as the companies hire fewer writers for a short duration. Showrunners are facing problems due to low staff, and the reduction in the time period for the shows is also highly affecting the writers financially
- Writers are given minimum payments regardless of their experience. Although the series budgets have skyrocketed over the years, the pay for the median weekly writer-producer has declined
- Writers also get paid when a show is re-released, including re-runs or syndication. The residual payment for this is low, and writers are fighting for an increase in the residual payments
- The use of AI over writers in various aspects is also a big issue for writers. The companies asking to work on AI for faster delivery and more is not appreciated, and the writers are raising concern regarding this
- Another reason is the appropriate compensation for TV series writing to the writers from pre- to post-production. The writers are also demanding proper pension, health problems, protection, and more
In the first week of the strike, all the writers were picketing the headquarters of Netflix, Warner Bros., Amazon, and others. They brandished signs and targeted people with protest banners.
Along with the writers, the actors also joined the strike to protest and fight against their own issues. The Screen Actor Guild ‘SAG-AFTRA’ also demanded an increase in the Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA). Due to the impact of streaming, they are also asking to raise the residual payments.
Actors have to invest a lot in taping their auditions professionally despite the uncertainty of receiving the job. Because of this, they are protesting for creating rules and regulations regarding self-tape auditions.
Has the Writer’s Strike Ended? Who Won?
Yes, an announcement was made on September 24, 2023, that the WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement. According to the guild, the deal is exceptional, with gains and protection for the writers.
After the completion of the Memorandum of Agreement, the next step was to vote for the ratification of the contract. Voting was held from October 2-9, and almost all the members of WGA voted to ratify the contract. With this, the writer’s strike is finally over!
Almost all the concerns of the writers were appropriately addressed in the contract. New approaches are taken for satisfactory pay and residuals to the writers.
It is also stated that AI-generated written material will not be considered human-written literary material. Any company cannot force writers to use AI software while writing. If the writer prefers and the company’s policy allows, then only the use of AI is recommended.
Apart from these, concerns about pensions and health-related funds are also solved. After negotiation, the staffing issue is also addressed. The studios agreed on three writers for a 6-episode series, five for a 7-12-episode series, and six writers for over 13 episodes.
Streaming platforms such as Netflix and Hulu need to share viewership data of the shows so the writers can fairly negotiate their compensations.
Is SAG-AFTRA Still on Strike?
The SAGs are still on strike as the studios have not agreed to their deals. They announced a strike after July 13 when their demands were not met during the negotiations.
On October 2, 2023, the AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA initiated the discussion about the deal again, but on October 11, the studios walked away from the negotiations. So, the SAG-AFTRA are still on strike for their rights.
In conclusion, the writers got justice after a months-long strike against the studios. They are now provided with fair compensation and protection. However, the SAG-AFTRA are still protesting hard to get their desired justice. We need to wait and see where this strike will lead.
What are your thoughts regarding this strike? Share your views in the comments!