Hollywood Writers Guild ends strike ahead of final contract vote – Portal

LOS ANGELES, Sept 26 (Portal) – The Hollywood writers union said its members could go back to work on Wednesday as they decide whether to agree to a three-year contract that includes raises and some protections in the use of artificial intelligence.

Writers Guild of America (WGA) leadership voted unanimously on Wednesday to end the strike, the guild said in a statement. The 11,500 members have until October 9th to cast their vote on the proposed contract.

The WGA said the estimated value of the deal was $233 million per year.

Film and television writers quit their jobs in May after failing to reach an agreement with major studios including Netflix (NFLX.O), Walt Disney (DIS.N) and Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD.O ).

The authors appeared to have made concessions across the board, with salary increases over the three years of the contract, higher health and pension contributions and AI protections.

As part of the agreement, the studios agreed to meet with the guild at least twice a year to discuss plans for using AI in film development and production.

Studios are not expressly prohibited from using AI to generate content. However, authors have the right to sue if their work is used to train AI.

Writers can choose to use AI when writing scripts, but a company cannot require the use of the software. Studios must also tell a writer whether materials were generated by AI.

The iconic Hollywood sign is pictured the day after the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced it had reached a tentative working agreement with major studios in Los Angeles, California, USA, on September 25, 2023. Portal/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo Acquire License Rights

In other areas, the guild said it received guarantees of minimum staffing in writers’ rooms, a key issue for many of its members. The cast depends on the number of episodes per season. Minimum wage rates will increase by more than 12% in three years.

In addition, the remaining amounts for the use of TV shows and films outside the USA will be increased and a bonus will be given for the most popular shows in streaming.

“These are essential protections that the companies have told us to our faces that they would NEVER give us,” author Adam Conover, a member of the guild’s bargaining committee, posted on the social media platform X.

“But because of our solidarity, because they literally can’t make a dollar without us, they gave in, then broke and gave us what we deserve. WE WON,” Conover said.

Television writer David Slack said: “Our strike was necessary. Our strike was effective. Our strike is a victory.”

The end of the strike means day and night talk shows can air again. Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” said on social media that he would be back with new episodes starting Friday.

“My writers and Real Time are back!” Maher wrote.

Maher and Drew Barrymore had angered writers when they said this month that their talk shows would return before the strike ends.

The end of the WGA strike does not return Hollywood to normality. The actors’ union SAG-AFTRA walked off the job in July and continues to strike.

Reporting by Lisa Richwine and Dawn Chmielewski; Edited by Jamie Freed, Leslie Adler and Gerry Doyle

Our standards: The Thomson Portal Trust Principles.

Acquire license rights, opens new tab