A Deal in Hollywood
After almost 150 days, the writers of Hollywood have finally reached their historic settlement with producing studios Disney, Universal, Paramount, and more. Beginning in May of this year, the Writers Guild of America protested the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on the grounds of unfair labor practices and intellectual property. The argument, which dealt heavily with AI usage and wage increases, had gone off and on until talks resumed last week, ultimately leading to the WGA and AMPTP finishing drafting the final contract language. Although the final notes of the contract are currently unknown, one can speculate that financial compensation boosts and protection against AI usage may fall under the dotted lines.
The strike, which ended promptly at 146 days, competed with the longest strike in WGA history of 154 days in 1988. With over 20 weeks of labor shortages, film and television studios of Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. Discovery had undergone limited to zero production for upcoming content. Although the contract is close to finished, the WGA has reiterated that the strike is not officially over, and members of the guild aren’t to return to work until the agreement becomes ratified. Even then, the AMPTP must deal with SAG-AFTRA, the union of actors, which joined the strike in mid-July and still haven’t found a settlement. On similar grounds as Hollywood writers, actors also want increased wages, benefits, protection from AI, and improved clarity over streaming revenue for equitable residual payments. Hopefully for viewers and the broader economy, both parties can find harmony that can increase and retain benefits for the union members and the production studios.
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