Its bitter labor conflict Hollywood, which has been going on for months, has taken a big step towards a solution he Writers Guild of Americawhich represents more than 11,000 screenwriters, reached a tentative agreement on a new contract with entertainment companies on Sunday night, effectively ending a 146-day strike that has contributed to the shutdown of television and film production.
In the coming days, guild members will vote on whether to accept the deal, which includes much of what they demanded, such as increased compensation for streaming content, exemptions from studios on minimum staffing for television programs, and guarantees that its technology Artificial intelligence This will not affect the credit and compensation of authors.
“You can be very proud to say that this agreement is exceptional, with significant benefits and protections for writers across the membership,” the Writers Guild bargaining committee said in an email to members.
Remarkably, Alliance of Film and Television Producers, which negotiated on behalf of the studios, did not celebrate the victory. His only comment was:
“She Writers Guild of America And Alliance of Film and Television Producers “They reached a tentative agreement.”
For an industry rocked by an online streaming revolution accelerated by the pandemic, the tentative deal represents an important step toward stability.
But a lot Hollywood Paralysis will remain: Thousands of actors are still on strike and no talks have been scheduled within the actors’ union. SAG-AFTRAand study.
Productions likely to resume soon are those without actors, such as late-night shows hosted by Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert and daytime talk shows hosted by Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Hudson.
In short: In addition to the actors, more than 100,000 behind-the-scenes personnel (directors, cameramen, publicists, makeup artists, prop creators, set designers, lighting technicians, stylists, cinematographers) will be out in Los Angeles and New York. At work, many people are facing financial problems. According to Governor Gavin Newsom, California’s economy alone has lost more than $5 billion due to the shutdown. Hollywood.
SAG-AFTRA The strike has been going on since July 14. More than they claim Writers Union And decided to prioritize dialogue with study alliances Writers UnionDue to the strong position of Fran Drescher, its leader SAG-AFTRA. Among other things, the actors want 2 percent of the gross revenue generated by the streaming show, which the studios say is non-negotiable.
But there is an agreement with it Writers Union Actors can speed up negotiations with unions. Something to worry about SAG-AFTRA Similar to that suggested by Writers Union. For example, actors are afraid Artificial intelligence Your likes may be used to make digital copies (or performances may be digitally altered) without payment or authorization.
Disagreement between endpoints Writers Union and study involved Artificial intelligence. On Saturday, lawyers for the entertainment companies came up with language — several paragraphs in an agreement that runs into hundreds of pages — that addressed the union’s concerns over the issue. Artificial intelligence And the old script which the studio has. The teams spent several hours Sunday making additional adjustments. Disney Chief Executive Robert A. The tentative agreement was reached after several company leaders, including Iger, joined the negotiations directly; Donna Langley, president of the NBCUniversal Study Group; Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of Netflix; and David Zaslav, head of Warner Bros. Discovery. Usually, negotiations are between union negotiators and Carol Lombardini, who leads Alliance of Film and Television ProducersAn organization that negotiates on behalf of eight major content companies Hollywood.
Talks resumed Wednesday after a nearly month-long hiatus, a period in which each side emphasized to the other that they had refused to negotiate. Its leaders Writers Union received intense pressure from some of its high-profile members, including Ryan Murphy (American Ghost Stories), Kenya Barris (black-ish) and Noah Hawley (fargo)
Executive producers like Mr. Murphy didn’t solicit leaders Writers Union To accept what was already on the table. Rather, they advocated an immediate return to negotiations and cited workers’ growing financial difficulties. Hollywood Disabled.
Its workers Hollywood The motion picture industry has withdrawn more than $45 million in hardship from pension plans since Sept. 1, according to a document compiled by the plan’s administrators that was seen by The New York Times. Mr. Murphy created a financial assistance fund for inactive workers in his program and committed $500,000 as an initial amount. Within days, he was asking for $10 million.
The studios were also damaged. This month, Warner Bros. Discovery said the strikes would reduce its adjusted earnings for the year by $300 million to $500 million. The stock prices of Disney, Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global took a hit. Analysts estimate that studios will pay up to $1.6 billion in worldwide ticket sales for films that were originally scheduled for release this fall but were postponed until next year because of the actors’ strike.
Negotiations between the studio and the writers began more than six months ago. Union leaders have repeatedly called the moment “existential,” arguing that the rise of online streaming has worsened both compensation levels for writers and their working conditions.
Over the past decade, the number of television series episodes has dropped from the old standard of more than 20 per season to just six or seven. Its officers Writers Union They said fewer episodes often translate to less income for writers and they struggle to find more than one job a year.
Writers also took special aim at so-called “mini-rooms,” an innovation of the online streaming era where fewer writers were hired to help put together a show and were often paid less.
Impairment of use Artificial intelligence This was an issue of some importance when negotiations began in late March, but became more urgent for members as the negotiations—and the strike—continued.
Its prominent members Writers Union They termed the strike as something higher than that Hollywood: They were taking a stand against the evils of capitalism, they argued. Some of that sentiment was reflected in the reaction to the results. In a post Sunday night on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Billy Ray, included credits Captain Phillips y broken glass, encouraged his fellow writers to “support the actors” and workers everywhere. “That’s how we save America.”
The strike was the longest in history Writers Union. The last time writers and actors were on strike at the same time was in 1960.
With a tentative contract in hand, Writers Union Strike suspended. However, the union encouraged members to join the striking actors’ demonstration, which will resume on Tuesday.
Through: The New York Times
Editor’s note: Unfortunately the damage is done, we will soon see the results and next year’s entire card is going to be plagued with many delays. What’s worse is that it looks like it could trigger a similar strike in the video game industry.