Hollywood writers are set to conclude their five-month-long strike following an agreement with the studios.
The strike, which commenced on May 2nd and has become one of the lengthiest in Hollywood’s history, will officially end at midnight Pacific time (07:01 GMT) on Wednesday.
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced that union leaders have unanimously voted to terminate the strike and lift the restraining order.
This move paves the way for its 11,500 members to cast their votes on a proposed three-year deal, which includes provisions for salary increases and safeguards regarding the use of artificial intelligence.
Simultaneously, there is an ongoing dispute involving actors, who have also been on strike. These actors, part of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), joined the writers in their strike on July 13th.
Their collective action centers on issues of remuneration and the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) in the entertainment industry.
Economist Kevin Klowden of the Milken Institute has estimated that the strike has resulted in an economic cost of approximately $5 billion (£4.08 billion) to the U.S. economy.
The strike had far-reaching consequences, causing disruptions to several popular American TV shows, such as “Billions,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Hacks,” “Severance,” “Yellow jackets,” “The Last of Us,” “Stranger Things,” “Abbott Elementary,” as well as various daytime and late-night talk shows.
Some of these productions can now resume, with Bill Maher, host of HBO’s “Real Time,” announcing on social media that fresh episodes will air starting Friday.
Although the Writers Guild’s strike has come to an end, the entertainment industry remains unsettled due to the ongoing strike by actors. These actors are seeking improvements in wages, working conditions, and health and pension benefits.
Furthermore, they aim to establish guidelines for the use of artificial intelligence in future television and film projects.
The resolution achieved by the Writers Guild could serve as a potential model for SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) as it continues negotiations with Hollywood studios. This suggests that the issues surrounding AI and other industry-related concerns are likely to shape the industry’s future developments.
Last Updated: 27 September 2023