WGA screenwriters reach draft deal with Hollywood studios

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has announced that it has reached a tentative deal with the Hollywood studios. This agreement could mean the end of the five-month screenwriters’ strike.

What’s been going on?

The WGA is a labor union that represents screenwriters for television shows, movies, news programs, documentaries, animation and video games. WGA members have been on strike since May 2023. The strike was called by the union because of concerns over pay and the use of artificial intelligence (AI).

What has been announced?

On Sunday, September 24, 2023, the WGA posted an update on its website. The statement said, “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.” The Minimum Basic Agreement (MBA) is an agreement with the TV and movie studios. It covers the benefits, rights and protections for the work done by WGA members.

What’s in the new deal?

The WGA hasn’t released details of the proposed new MBA yet. However, it said that the deal “is exceptional—with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.” The WGA also said that members had won the new agreement with their solidarity throughout the strike. The announcement stated: “It is the leverage generated by your strike… that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal”.

What next?

The WGA said that the draft MBA will now be written into a formal contract. Once that has been done, it will be reviewed by the WGA boards for approval. After that, there will be a ratification vote by the WGA members which will decide if the new deal is finally accepted. Until then, the WGA and its members are still on strike. However, the WGA has agreed to suspend picketing.

What we think

The strike isn’t over yet but the statement from the WGA is very positive. The leadership is also hoping to approve the new deal tomorrow (Tuesday). If that happens, then the strike would be lifted, and screenwriters can return to work while the ratification vote is carried out. However, the SAG-AFTRA actors strike is still ongoing, so TV shows and movies won’t start filming again just yet. Hopefully, the studio bosses will reach an agreement with the actors quickly once the strike has finally been resolved.

Featured image courtesy: Image courtesy: Mario Anzuoni | Reuters

Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies
Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.

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