Hollywood screenwriters and studios reach tentative deal to resolve strike

The tentative agreement does not guarantee an end to the strike, however: Union members will need to agree to the terms and formally vote to end the walkout. Hollywood actors will continue their strike, which started in July, until their union, SAG-AFTRA, reaches a deal with the studios, too.

SAG-AFTRA negotiators and the studios have yet to start talks, according to sources, whereas the WGA and the studios resumed negotiations on Wednesday.

The writers and actors share similar demands, including higher base compensation, a bigger cut of project royalties (known as residuals) and stricter protections against the use of artificial intelligence. 

Striking WGA members picket in New York on Aug. 29.Michael M. Santiago / Getty Images

The strikes have upended the film and television business, throwing thousands of people out of work and shutting down production on most scripted entertainment, from big-budget movies to late-night talk shows and streaming series. In interviews, writers, actors and behind-the-scenes crew members have described the financial hardships of the industry shutdown.

The studios say they have taken a hit, too. Warner Bros. Discovery, for example, said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing this month that it assumes it will be “negatively impacted” by the dual strikes to the tune of up to $500 million.

The strikes come amid intense structural upheaval in Hollywood, which is grappling with how to successfully embrace the digital era, survive the decline of traditional broadcast viewership and manage the rise of AI technologies, many of which have stoked anxiety about the future of all creative professions.

WGA members last went on strike in November 2007 amid an impasse with the studios over writers’ salaries and other issues. The work stoppage clogged Hollywood’s content production pipeline and lasted 100 days, ending on Feb. 12, 2008. The longest strike in WGA history was 154 days in 1988.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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