Screenwriters based in the United States are on the brink of reaching a tentative agreement with studio executives, potentially bringing to a close a nearly five-month-long strike.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has described the development as “exceptional,” citing substantial gains and safeguards for writers. However, the final decision rests with WGA members.

This labor dispute, which has persisted for an unprecedented duration, has severely disrupted film and television production in Hollywood. Simultaneously, actors have also initiated a separate strike.

Commencing on May 2nd, the strike has inflicted billions of dollars in economic losses upon California. Before returning to work, the WGA leadership and union members must secure a three-year contract with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.

Although the proposed agreement’s details require finalization, the WGA has announced the suspension of picketing activities, signaling progress. Nevertheless, the strike has had far-reaching consequences, affecting some of America’s most beloved TV series and late-night talk shows.

The issues at hand encompass not only compensation but also concerns regarding the potential encroachment of artificial intelligence on the writers’ creative domain.

Negotiations have also stumbled due to disputes related to staffing levels and the royalties writers receive for successful streaming series, which are notably lower compared to earnings from broadcast TV shows.

Numerous ancillary businesses, such as catering services, costume suppliers, carpenters, and camera operators, have felt the repercussions of this ongoing dispute.

In recent days, the top executives of Netflix, Disney, Universal, and Warner Bros Discovery personally participated in negotiations, injecting new momentum into the process.

Meanwhile, actors have been on strike since mid-July, with representation from the 160,000-strong SAG-AFTRA performers’ union.

Last Updated: 25 September 2023