The writers won a major pay raise, more staff on TV shows and controls of artificial intelligence in scripts. Actors continue negotiating Wednesday.
It’s official – writers in Hollywood have ratified a new three year contract with studios, emerging victorious after a 148-day strike that paralysed film and television production in the US.
The Writers Guild of America announced Monday (9 October) that 99% of the 8,525 members who cast ballots voted to ratify the deal, which had been agreed by union leaders in late September.
Widely touted as a major win by both members and leaders of the writers union, the new contract includes a pay raise, an increase in the size of show staff and control of artificial intelligence use in scripts.
“Together we were able to accomplish what many said was impossible only six months ago,” Meredith Stiehm, president of the WGA-East, said in a statement.
Now the spotlight is on actors, who are trying to clinch another win three months into their strike. Leaders of the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists were back in contract negotiations with studios this week, with a new round of talks expected on Wednesday.
Leaders of the writers guild have urged studios to grant actors’ demands, saying their members would continue to picket alongside them until a deal was reached.
It’s still unclear how much progress has been made in the one-day-on, one-day off talks between actors and their employers – which are more methodical than the marathon night-and-weekend sessions that brought an end to the writers strike.
The writers’ new contract runs through to 1 May 2026, three years after their previous contract expired and they went on strike.
After negotiations that saw direct involvement from the chiefs of Disney, Netflix and Warner Bros. Discovery, a tentative deal was struck on 24 Sept.
Two days later, when the board members voted to approve the agreement and send it to members, the strike was declared over and writers were released to work. And they happily obliged, with late-night talk shows back on air within a week.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, which represents studios, streaming services and production companies in the strike talks, congratulated writers for their vote. In a statement, it said the contract “represents meaningful gains and protections for writers” and hailed “important progress for our industry that writers are back to work.”