Striking writers and other members of Hollywood are calling the tentative deal reached Sunday by the Writers Guild and the AMPTP a “victory.”
The deal was announced on Sunday, September 24, 146 days after the writers’ strike began on May 2 and after five consecutive days of negotiations that spanned the entire weekend.
In its message to members, the union’s negotiating committee urged patience over the details of the pact: “Now our employees must ensure that everything we agreed on is codified in the final contract language.” “We can only share what we have achieved once the last “i” has been dotted.”
“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resilience and solidarity on the picket lines. As we look forward to reviewing the tentative agreement between WGA and AMPTP, we remain committed to achieving the necessary conditions for our members,” said the actors union, which also stands out. “Since the day the WGA strike began, SAG-AFTRA members have stood alongside writers on the picket lines. We continue to strike on our TV/theater contract and continue to call on the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and get the fair deal our members deserve and demand.”
The DGA, which ratified its own new agreement with the AMPTP in June, also sent a congratulatory note to the WGA. “Congratulations to the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement on behalf of its members this evening,” the directors’ guild said in its statement. “We were proud to support the authors in their fight for a fair deal and look forward to reviewing the details of the agreement. Now is the time for AMPTP to get back to the table with SAG-AFTRA and address the needs of artists.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom also released his own statement: “Without our world-class writers, California’s entertainment industry would not be what it is today.” For over 100 days, 11,000 writers went on strike over existential threats to their careers and livelihoods – and expressed genuine concern about workers’ stress and anxiety. I am grateful that the two sides came together to reach an agreement that benefits everyone involved and can get much of California’s economy moving again.”
According to studio sources, the two sides were close to reaching an agreement for several days after returning to the table in late August for the first time since May 2. Lawyers have reportedly been working on the contract language since Friday evening and moved on to finer details Saturday morning. One of the key issues that kept both sides at the table over the weekend was artificial intelligence.
The tentative agreement, which still needs to be ratified by the union’s more than 11,500 writers, could mark the end of one of the longest strikes in Hollywood history, the third longest in the WGA’s nearly 70 years and the first dual strike alongside SAG-AFTRA since 1960.
The strike, often cited as a turning point for the entire industry, focused on issues that are both recurring and emerging in the entertainment industry’s expanded streaming era. This includes health contributions and adjustments to the current structure of the remaining amounts, but also guidelines for the use of AI and transparency regarding streaming performance.
For solidarity-minded writers both in the union and before the WGA and without the union, the last five months have been challenging. Scribes faced food insecurity, the loss of their homes, the end of first-look deals, and daily hazards such as high temperatures and car traffic.
Now that a tentative agreement is in place, Hollywood is celebrating what could not only signal the end of the writers’ walkout but also encourage the AMPTP to get back to the table with SAG-AFTRA to negotiate a deal and to end his also two-month strike.
Below are some of the initial reactions.