Zoom Image

Protesters in front of Paramount Studios in Los Angeles

Photo: Damian Dovarganes / AP

The board of directors of the US writers' union WGA (Writers Guild of America) has approved a preliminary agreement between the union and the major studios and streaming providers in the USA. The writers' strike, which has been going on for almost five months, will end on Wednesday, the WGA announced on Tuesday afternoon (local time).

Board members voted unanimously on Tuesday to
accept the agreement. Now the more than 11,000 members have to vote on the new employment contract. This ratification process is scheduled to take place from 2 to 9 October.

According to the WGA, the new deal is valid until May 2026. The preliminary contract includes, among other things, wage increases, regulations for the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and higher subsidies for retirement and health care.

Members still need to agree

The WGA board's vote on Tuesday came on the 148th day of the strike. The strike could continue if the majority of union members reject ratification. However, industry observers consider this to be highly unlikely.

After several days of marathon meetings, the negotiators of the writers' union had negotiated the "provisional agreement" with representatives of the major studios and streaming providers on Sunday. We can proudly say that this agreement is exceptional – with significant gains and safeguards for authors in every sector of our membership," the WGA said.

However, the end of the writers' strike does not mean that the labor dispute in Hollywood is over. The approximately 160,000 actors and actresses of the acting union SAG-AFTRA are still on strike. They had joined the writers' strike in mid-July. The fronts between the producers and the actors' union have hardened – there have been no talks since the strike began in July.

The first double strike of actors and screenwriters in the United States in more than 60 years had almost paralyzed Hollywood. As a result of the labor dispute, practically no more films and series could be made. Due to strikes, actors are also not allowed to advertise their films. Film releases have been postponed, and the season of award ceremonies has also been affected.

The world's most important television award, Emmy – originally scheduled for mid-September – will now not be awarded until January 2024. The "Governors Awards" gala with the presentation of the honorary Oscars, which was initially planned for November, was also postponed to January.