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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Writers and Actors Strike Update

After 148 days, the Writers guild of America (WGA) has reached an agreement dealing with the second longest strike in WGA history. On September 27, 2023, at 12:01 am PT the guild came to a conclusion with a leadership vote.

The advancement in the strike was due to talks between the WGA and the Alliance of Motion Picture, which included the most substantial studios like Universal, Paramount, Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery. 

The vote has allowed 11,500 guild members to return to their previous work and start up new projects.  Pre-agreement writers were unable to sell scripts, pitch, take meetings, or respond to notes. All actions have since reconvened.

While writers are allowed to return to work during this confirmation process the final decision involving the contract approval is still the membership’s right.

Both the WGA West Board and the East council had a unanimous vote for the restrictions to be lifted.

On October 2 and October 9 the union will have the official vote to ratify the contract; the end of the strike doesn’t mean that the indefinite agreement between the union and the studios is a confirmed deal yet.

Many members are being asked to attend meetings pertaining to the new deal in New York and Los Angeles and online meetings will take place on Zoom. The purpose of joining in on these meetings is to attempt to sell the deal further. 

Their major argument stems from the amount of work stoppage the union faced, they believe the situation gave them leverage to be able to receive these conditions from the industry’s major employers.

The tentative agreement involves a three-year contract, and the deal is set to last until May 2026. An initial five percent pay increase as soon as the contract is ratified is included, and in 2024 and 2025 additional pay bumps will be granted. 

The issues writers were facing with artificial intelligence (AI) have also been somewhat resolved. Writers have gained a significant amount of protection against the usage of AI, as now artificial intelligence is not permitted to write literary material, nor will any AI-generated material be considered as source material.

In order to combat the streaming service situation the WGA negotiated a viewership based residual. The residuals agreement states that films and series provided by high budget subscription services that receive views from 20 percent of total subscribers in the first 90 days of release will gain a 50 percent bonus.

The structure will be put into effect on January 1, 2024, and with this residual writers will now receive 9,031 dollars per half-hour episode and 16,415 dollars per one-hour episode from the bonus. 

The film and TV industry is still being disrupted, as the halt is caused by thousands of actors still on strike. The actors’ union (SAG-AFTRA) have shown a willingness to negotiate a deal, but the studios had decided to focus on a resolution with the writers before anything else back in August.

Writers will no longer be picketing, but actors began protesting again after a short break for the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur. Multiple members from the Writers Guild have voiced support for the actors.

As soon as the WGA’s tentative agreement is official, talk shows such as “The Tonight Show” will be able to continue, but other projects have to wait for SAG-AFTRA to return to work.

SAG-AFTRA has similar proposals compared to the WGA, protection against AI, streaming service residual payments, and an 11 percent wage increase. Studios are yet to agree to the wage increase and are stuck at a five percent raise.


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