The Hollywood screenwriters’ strike, one of two strikes that have stalled movie and TV productions for nearly five months, will officially end Wednesday.
The Writers Guild of America board unanimously voted Tuesday to affirm the strike-ending deal, announced Sunday, with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, the group that represents studios, streaming services and production companies in negotiations.
“Today, our Negotiating Committee, WGAW Board, and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the agreement,” the Writers Guild West announced on X, formerly Twitter. “The strike ends at 12:01 am.”
The agreed-upon three-year contract extension will go to the full WGA membership for a ratification vote. But the leadership board lifted the restraining order to allow writers to work during the ratification process. The members will vote between Oct. 2 and 9.
Late-night talk shows − the first to go dark when writers walked out on May 2 − will be among the first shows to resume. “Real Time” host Bill Maher, who reversed his Sept. 14 decision to bring his HBO show back during the strike, trumpeted the return to work for a Friday night show on his X account.
“My writers and Real Time are back! See you Friday Night!” Maher wrote. The three-year writers’ contract agreement emerged after five marathon days of renewed talks with WGA and AMPTP negotiators, joined by studio executives, that continued throughout the weekend until the breakthrough announcement late Sunday night. Writer picketing immediately halted, but the tentative deal required WGA leadership confirmation to officially end.
According to a WGA statement, writers earned increased pay, health and pension contributions with the contract extension as well as new foreign streaming residuals, and viewership-based streaming bonuses. There are also assurances against AI, a particular point of contention in the negotiations.
The 2008 deal to end the last writers’ strike, which began in 2007 and lasted for 100 days, was approved by more than 90% of union members.
Actors remain on strike, but the ratified deal with writers could help the Screen Actors Guild find a resolution with AMPTP. There are no talks currently scheduled between the two sides.
SAG-AFTRA congratulated the WGA negotiators in a statement posted Sunday.
“We look forward to reviewing the terms of the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement,” the SAG-AFTRA statement read. “And we remain ready to resume our own negotiations with the AMPTP as soon as they are prepared to engage on our proposals in a meaningful way.”
But as the Hollywood writers’ strike comes to an end, striking actors on Tuesday also voted to expand their walkout to include the lucrative video game market, a step that could put new pressure on Hollywood studios to make a deal with the performers who provide voices and stunts for games.
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