clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Hollywood writers’ strike is over as union wins major concessions from studios

The actors of SAG-AFTRA remain on strike, for now

Writers Guild Of America Strikes Continues As Negotiations Set To Resume This Week Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

The 2023 writers’ strike is over. The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, a collection of Hollywood’s biggest studios, came to a “tentative agreement” on a new contract on Sunday, heralding an end to the WGA strike that started on May 2.

On Tuesday, WGA leadership announced that it would call an end to the strike just after midnight, and all TV and movie writers would be free to return to work on Wednesday. It also published the terms of the deal, showing several sizable concessions its negotiating team had won from the studios.

The agreement still needs to be ratified in a vote by the guild’s membership. The WGA said this vote will take place next week, some time between Oct. 2 and Oct. 9.

The terms of the new deal, as published by the WGA and analyzed by The Hollywood Reporter, include:

  • Yearly minimum pay increases of 3.5-5% over the next three years for most writers
  • Strict limitations on the use of AI by both studios and writers
  • A plan for residual compensation for writers who work on successful streaming shows and movies, plus limited visibility on the streaming companies’ data for the union
  • A minimum size of three writers for writers’ rooms, and minimum contract length
  • Increased foreign residuals, and more.

“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the WGA said on Sunday.

The strike lasted 148 days, making this the longest Hollywood writers’ strike since 1988. The strike started off with negotiations, but eventually hit a standstill, with neither party coming to the negotiating table. The holdout between the two groups ended last week with both parties returning on Wednesday. According to The Hollywood Reporter, days of intense discussion followed, with the studios tabling their “best and final” offer late on Saturday. It seems the writers sensed they had the upper hand, because union negotiators were able to make a few additional requests on Sunday before the agreement was reached.

The end of the strike means that pre-production and writing on shows like The Last of Us season 2 can resume, but it isn’t the end of the studios’ labor problems. The Screen Actors Guild is also on strike against the AMPTP and continues to negotiate toward an agreement and contract of its own. As long as the SAG strike continues, production in Hollywood will still be on hold, even if shows and movies are back in development with the writers returning to work. Late night and daytime talk shows, however, will be able to resume production immediately — albeit without any striking actors as guests.

“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resiliency and solidarity on the picket lines,” the actors’ guild said in a statement earlier this week. “While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members. Since the day the WGA strike began, SAG-AFTRA members have stood alongside the writers on the picket lines. We remain on strike in our TV/Theatrical contract and continue to urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and make the fair deal that our members deserve and demand.”

Update (Sep. 27): This article has been updated to reflect the WGA’s formal announcement of the end of the strike and of the terms of its tentative agreement with AMPTP late on Tuesday, Sep. 26.