A Breakthrough in Hollywood: Screenwriters Guild Strikes Preliminary Agreement
A Historic Pause in the Five-Month Strike
Breaking five months of deadlock, the American Screenwriters Guild announced a “remarkable” preliminary agreement with a coalition of film and television producers. This coalition is made up of industry giants like Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, Warner Brothers, NBC Universal, Sony, and Paramount. The strike, which began in May, was a demonstration against wages, rebroadcasting compensations, and the potential application of artificial intelligence in writers’ rooms. This combined strike of writers and actors created a historic stagnation in Hollywood, a situation that has not been witnessed for at least six decades.
Key Elements of the Agreement
The agreement was highlighted in three main points. First, screenwriters will not immediately return to work. The previous strike by the American Screenwriters Guild in 2007-2008 reached a preliminary agreement on day 96, but the strike did not end until day 100. The Guild has emphasized that no one can return to work without obtaining a permit from the union, and the strike continues until then.
Secondly, screenwriters will continue to back the ongoing actors’ strike. Despite the suspension of their own strikes, the screenwriters encouraged their members to join the actors’ strike lines where possible. The actors’ union has indicated its readiness to resume negotiations with the studios coalition.
Thirdly, the deal is not final. The agreement between the American Screenwriters Guild and the coalition of film and television producers is not final, as members will be asked to ratify the agreement through voting. The statement detailed the stages of voting on the final agreement.
A Testament to Solidarity
The statement from the American Screenwriters Guild emphasized that the gains made in this contract, particularly those obtained since May 2, are due to the group’s desire to show solidarity and endure the pain, sadness, and uncertainty of the 146-day strike. The agreement was proudly declared as exceptional, providing meaningful gains and protections for screenwriters across all sectors where members work.
Next Steps Towards Finalizing the Agreement
The final details of the agreement are still being finalized and members are asked to be patient as the final contract language is drafted. Once the agreement memorandum is completed, the negotiation committee will vote on recommending the agreement and submitting it to the boards of the American Screenwriters Guild, East and West.
The boards will then vote on the authorization to vote on the contract by the members. If approval is given for this mandate, the boards will also vote on ending the strike at a specific date and time, which will allow screenwriters to return to work. This historic agreement marks a significant step towards resolving the ongoing disputes in Hollywood, but it is not the end. The final ratification by the members of the Guild will determine the future course of action.
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