LOS ANGELES — Union leaders and Hollywood studios reached a tentative agreement Sunday to end a historic nearly five-month strike by screenwriters, but no deal has yet been reached for striking actors.
The Writers Guild of America announced the deal in a joint statement with the Motion Picture and Television Producers Guild, which represents studios, streaming services and production companies in the negotiations.
“The WGA has reached a tentative agreement with AMPTP,” the guild said in an email to members. “This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and the extraordinary support of our union brothers and sisters who have joined us on the picket line for more than 146 days.”
The three-year contract agreement, reached after five marathon days of renewed talks by WGA and AMPTP negotiators, sometimes involving studio executives, must be approved by the guild’s board of directors and members before the strike officially ends.
In a longer message shared on social media by members of the guild, the writers were told that the strike was not over and no one would return to work until they heard otherwise, but that picketing should be suspended 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 percent of members.
The agreement came just five days before the strike became the longest in the guild’s history and Hollywood’s longest in more than 70 years.
As a result of the deal, NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” Night programs, including TV programs, will be broadcast. It may go live in a few days.
But as writers prepare to potentially reopen their laptops, it’s far from business as usual in Hollywood, as talks between the studios and the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists have yet to begin. The crew who are unemployed due to the stoppage will remain unemployed for now.
“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with 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 WGA and AMPTP’s interim agreement, we remain committed to meeting the requirements for our members.”
The statement said the guild continues to “encourage studio and publisher CEOs and AMPTP to return to the table and get the fair deal our members deserve and demand.”
The proposed solution to the writers’ strike comes after talks resumed on Wednesday for the first time in a month. Disney’s Bob Iger, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Senior executives, including Discovery’s David Zaslav and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley, were reportedly directly involved in the negotiations.
This outcome was achieved without the intervention of federal mediators or other government officials, which was necessary in previous strikes.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass released a statement congratulating both parties on the agreement and said she was hopeful the same could happen for the players soon.
California Governor Gavin Newsom did the same, saying the writers were “striking because of existential threats to their careers and livelihoods, expressing real concerns about the stress and anxiety felt by workers.” “I’m grateful that the two sides came together.”
About 11,500 members of the Writers Guild of America walked off the job May 2 over issues including pay issues, the size of the writing staff on shows and the use of artificial intelligence in creating scripts. The actors who joined the writers on strike in July have their own problems, but there have yet to be any talks with their unions about resuming negotiations.
The writers’ strike immediately put a hiatus on late-night talk shows and “Saturday Night Live,” and since then Netflix’s “Stranger Things,” HBO’s “The Last of Us” and “The Last of Us” It has left dozens of scripted shows and other productions, including their upcoming seasons, in limbo. ” and ABC’s “Abbot Elementary” and movies like “Deadpool 3” and “Superman: Legacy.” The Emmy Awards were also postponed from September to January.
Recently, writers have been targeting talk shows that are working around strike rules to return to the air, such as “The Drew Barrymore Show,” “Real Time With Bill Maher” and “The Talk.” They have all reversed themselves in the face of scouting and pressure, and now they are likely to bounce back quickly.
From the staggering shift to streaming in recent years to the emergence of potentially paradigm-shifting artificial intelligence in the coming years, these combined strikes have created a pivotal moment in Hollywood, with creative labor pitted against executives in a business transformed and fragmented by technology.
Screenwriters had traditionally gone on strike more than other parts of the industry, but had enjoyed a relatively long period of labor peace until spring negotiations for a new contract collapsed. This strike was the first since 2007 and the longest since 1988.
On July 14, more than two months after the strike, writers got a dose of solidarity and star power with the participation of 65,000 striking film and television actors; also with many new strike partners.
This was the first time the two groups went on strike together since 1960. In this strike, the writers’ strike began first and ended second. This time, studios preferred to deal with the writers first.
AMPTP first reached out in August to propose renewed negotiations. Meetings were short, infrequent, and unproductive; The talks remained silent for another month.