After four days of intense negotiations, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on the verge of striking a deal with major film and television studios, with a potential agreement coming as early as Sunday.
On Saturday evening, the prominent film and television studios presented what they termed their “final and best” offer to the striking writers.
It’s important to note that any tentative agreement would still require the approval of the WGA’s over 11,000 members. Nonetheless, if it garners enough support, this agreement could signal the conclusion of an almost five-month-long strike, ranking as the second longest in the union’s history. As reported by Variety, both the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the trade association representing major Hollywood studios, had set an informal deadline coinciding with the Yom Kippur holiday to put an end to the strike.
Similarly, SAG-AFTRA, the actors’ union, has been engaged in a strike since mid-July, sharing many of the same demands as the WGA. These demands encompass improved wages, residual payments from streaming platforms for their creative work, and safeguards against the increasing use of artificial intelligence in their industry. Numerous accomplished, award-winning writers have found it increasingly challenging to sustain themselves within the current industry structure. The rise of original content on streaming services has led to diminished residual incomes. Furthermore, these platforms often opt for shorter seasons, thereby decreasing the available opportunities for writers.
Both of these Hollywood strikes have been protracted and economically burdensome, estimated to have caused a nationwide economic impact exceeding $5 billion, according to economists. Various industries, such as restaurants, service enterprises, and prop shops, have felt the reverberations of these ongoing disputes, necessitating staff reductions. In New York, the disruption of 11 major productions resulted in losses amounting to $1.3 billion and the elimination of 17,000 jobs, as per Empire State Development.