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Hollywood writers reach ‘tentative deal’ with studios to end months-long strike

Hollywood writers were striking over pay and the use of artificial intelligence in the industry.

Screenwriters in the United States say they have reached a tentative deal with studio bosses that could see them end a strike that has lasted nearly five months.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced the deal with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), the group that represents studios, streaming services, and producers in negotiations.

After a 10-hour negotiation on day two of the five-day talks, it was reported that the representatives of WGA and Hollywood Studios had reached an agreement. 

The historic announcement comes after writers and actors protested for 146 days, halting most film and television productions. The movement led to several billion in losses to California’s economy and other production hubs, including New Mexico, Georgia, and New York, according to a report from Milken Institute.

The WGA, representing 11,500 film and television writers, described the groundbreaking deal as “exceptional” with “meaningful gains and protections for writers.”

“This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days,” the negotiating committee said in a statement on Sunday.

The writers’ walkout, which began on 2 May this year, kicked off over pay issues and the influence of artificial intelligence potentially replacing their skills. 

In addition, issues of royalty payments that writers receive for popular streaming platforms were also raised as earnings weren’t provided despite shows and films being repeated on broadcast networks.

Despite the coming to an end of a strike that has led to waves of ripple effects in the entertainment industry, the WGA leadership and union members need to agree on a three-year contract with the AMPTP before they return to work.

“Until specifically authorised. We are still on strike until then. But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing,” said the WGA.

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