WGA Strike Officially Ends, Members Can Return to Work

Actors & Writer Strike 2023 / Jennifer Liegh Warren

*The Writers Guild’s strike is officially over as of Wednesday after nearly five months of negotiating with studios and streamers.  

“Today, your Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the agreement,” the guild said of the tentative agreement that was reached on Sunday, Deadline reports. “It will now go to both Guilds’ memberships for a ratification vote. Eligible voters will receive ballot and materials for the vote which will take place from October 2nd to October 9th.” 

News broke late Tuesday that the Writers Guild of America unanimously voted to lift its strike, allowing writers to return to work on Sept. 27.

“The WGAW Board and WGAE Council also voted unanimously to lift the restraining order and end the strike as of 12:01 am PT/3:01 am ET on Wednesday, September 27th. This allows writers to return to work during the ratification process, but does not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval,” the union announced on Tuesday.

We reported previously via CNN that the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, and the union reached a tentative agreement on Sunday after days of marathon negotiating sessions.

Writers Strike - Depositphotos
Writers Guild Strike – Depositphotos

The WGA West Board and WGA East Council approved the deal on Tuesday, which includes major advancements in AI safeguards, residuals, and data transparency.

“The Guild negotiated a new residual based on viewership,” the WGA told its members. “Made-for HBSVOD series and films that are viewed by 20% or more of the service’s domestic subscribers in the first 90 days of release, or in the first 90 days in any subsequent exhibition year, get a bonus equal to 50% of the fixed domestic and foreign residual, with views calculated as hours streamed domestically of the season or film divided by runtime. For instance, projects written under the new MBA on the largest streaming services would receive a bonus of $9,031 for a half-hour episode, $16,415 for a one-hour episode, or $40,500 for a streaming feature over $30 million in budget. This bonus structure will take effect for projects released on or after January 1, 2024.

“The Companies agree to provide the Guild, subject to a confidentiality agreement, the total number of hours streamed, both domestically and internationally, of self-produced high budget streaming programs (e.g., a Netflix original series),” the WGA added. “The Guild may share information with the membership in aggregated form.” 

As Deadline reports, under the terms of the agreement, “AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material” under the contract, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights. 

The summary also notes: “A writer can choose to use AI when performing writing services, if the company consents and provided that the writer follows applicable company policies, but the company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services.”

Hollywood’s Writers have been on strike since May, making it the second-longest in the union’s history since the 1988 strike, which lasted 153 days.

READ MORE: It’s Over! Writers Guild and Studios Reach Tentative Deal | VIDEO

The post WGA Strike Officially Ends, Members Can Return to Work appeared first on EURweb.