New reports suggest one of the longest strikes in Hollywood History is about to come to an end, as the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) are in the final phase of negotiations on a new three-year contract, according to Variety.
WGA Strike Could Come to An End
Legal representation on both sides were said to be working out the fine print of the new contract, specifically regarding issues like the use of generative artificial intelligence (AI) and the WGA’s minimum basic agreement — which includes a formula for a minimum staff guarantee for episodic television, and “success-based” residuals” from subscription streaming platforms designed to put more money into WGA’s pension and health funds.
Multiple sources for Variety have said that the details of the terms around the AI proposal have been among the last hurdles of negotiation. According to an industry insider, “it’s mainly down to language now” before a deal is finalized.
Negotiations began when four top Hollywood executives — Disney’s Bob Iger, Warner Bros. Discovery’s David Zaslav, Netflix’s Ted Sarandos, and NBCUniversal’s Donna Langley — returned to the bargaining table this week to take part in three days of negotiations. While the four senior executives weren’t present for the third day of negotiations on Saturday, September 22, but ComicBook.com says this suggests that negotiations “may be close to complete.”
The WGA has been on strike since May 2, 2023. Once their deal is finalized, it will fall to the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) to return to talks to end their strike, which has been going on since July 14, 2023. This is the first industry-wide strike by the performers guild in more than 40 years.
SAG-AFTRA is making demands similar to the WGA regarding streaming and restrictions on AI technology being used to replicate a performer’s likeness. The WGA previously said the current state of the industry was turning it into a “gig economy” that was detrimental to writers.