U.S. Screenwriters on Brink of Ending Nearly Five-Month-Long Strike with Tentative Studio Agreement

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How the media and entertainment industry is changing in 2022 and beyond

Breakthrough Deal in Writers’ Strike

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announces a tentative agreement with studio leaders, signaling a potential end to the nearly five-month-long strike and offering significant benefits for writers.

2. Dispute Over Compensation and AI Usage
The strike, primarily driven by disputes over compensation and concerns about the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the entertainment industry, has disrupted notable shows like ‘Stranger Things’ and ‘The Last of Us.’

3. Costly Impact on Entertainment Industry
This strike, one of Hollywood’s longest in decades, has suspended most film and TV productions, causing significant economic losses. Economist Kevin Klowden estimates the cost at around $5 billion (£4.08 billion).

4. Hit Shows Forced to Halt Production
Flagship American shows, including ‘Billions,’ ‘The Handmaid’s Tale,’ ‘Hacks,’ ‘Severance,’ ‘Yellowjackets,’ ‘The Last of Us,’ ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘Abbott Elementary,’ and various daytime and late-night talk shows, have been affected by the ongoing dispute.

5. Compensation and AI Concerns
Writers’ concerns extend beyond compensation, with apprehensions about AI potentially displacing their craft. Negotiations also faltered over staffing levels and streaming royalties, which writers argue are insufficient compared to broadcast TV earnings.

6. Evolving Royalties Landscape
Historically, writers received supplementary payments for broadcast reruns, but streaming’s rise changed this model. Current payments aim to compensate for lost royalties from broadcast reruns.

7. Path Forward Requires Consensus
The WGA leadership and union members must agree on a three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) before work resumes.

8. Suspension of WGA Picketing
While the proposed agreement’s specific terms are yet to be finalized, the WGA announces the suspension of picketing but does not declare the strike’s end.

9. Widespread Impact on Entertainment Industry
The strike has affected various entertainment sectors, impacting businesses such as catering services, costume suppliers, carpentry services, and camera operators.

10. High-Level Negotiations Offer Hope
Recent negotiations have seen top executives from Netflix, Disney, Universal, and Warner Bros. Discovery personally involved, offering hope for resolution.

11. Solidarity from Performers’ Union
The 160,000-member SAG-AFTRA performers’ union, currently on strike, commends the striking writers’ determination and unity, emphasizing their continued support for fair negotiations.

12. Governor’s Gratitude for Agreement Progress
California Governor Gavin Newsom acknowledges the vital role of writers in the state’s entertainment industry and expresses gratitude for the progress made in reaching an agreement that benefits all parties involved.

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