A Deal Has Been Made Between the Hollywood Writers Guild
After months of talks and a long Hollywood strike, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and big studios are almost ready to come to an agreement. The strike that started in May is almost over. Writers are looking at a possible three-year deal and getting ready to go back to work. If accepted, this deal will make it possible for big pay raises and set limits on how the industry can use artificial intelligence (AI).
As the strike ends, important choices need to be made for writers
The fact that the WGA board decided unanimously to end the strike is important. It will be back to work on new, exciting stories for Hollywood’s 11,500 writers after a short break. Before this ceasefire can be made public, there is still important work to be done. There will be no more votes on the planned $233 million-a-year contract after October 9.
How to Give and Take
The strike started when writers’ agents tried to negotiate with a group of big companies, but they failed. These companies include Netflix, Walt Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery. It looks like writers have made a clear victory in this battle. Gains include higher pay over the three years of the deal, better health and retirement benefits, and protections against using AI in the wrong way.
Think about AI
As part of this deal, companies will meet with the guild twice a year to talk about how AI is changing the role of humans in filmmaking. It’s important to note that the agreement doesn’t completely forbid the use of material made by AI. On the other hand, it protects authors’ rights to sue if their work used to teach AI.
Since scriptwriters are free to choose whether to use AI or not, there can’t be a company-wide requirement for them to do so. In addition, studios must be open about their use of AI by saying if they used materials made by AI or not.
Important Pros for Authors
In areas other than artificial intelligence, the WGA has important guarantees about the minimum number of staff needed in writers’ rooms. More than 12% more money will added to the minimum wage over the course of the three-year deal. The number of shows in a season will now used to decide how many people to hire.
Also, the extra money that comes in from showing movies and TV shows in places other than the US (called “residuals”) will go up. There a bonus structure put into the deal for the streaming shows that get the most views.
We can do more when we work together
Authors have expressed their utmost happiness with these changes, which shows how important it is for them to work together to reach their goals. Adam Conover, a guild negotiator, said it so well: “These are important rights that the employers told us straight out that they would NEVER give us.” But they gave in because they knew they couldn’t live without us and finally gave us what we owed. I WON.
Writers getting excited about a big win
Really important things happen at the end of the strike. Talk shows during the day and at night, like Bill Maher’s “Real Time,” will soon be back on TV. She wrote on social media, “My writers and Real Time are back!”
Even though a deal with the Writers Guild of America may be getting closer, the rest of the Hollywood job market is still not stable. In July, the actors’ union SAG-AFTRA went on strike, which made things even more difficult for the business.