Hollywood writers return to work but actors still on strike

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Hollywood strike in New York City outside set of Marvel Studios Disney+ TV Show Daredevil: Born Again. (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
WGA members strike in New York City outside set of Marvel Studios Disney+ TV Show Daredevil: Born Again. (Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
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The Hollywood strike which forced back the release dates of completed movies and led other projects to be shelved might just be ending with the signing of new contracts.

The new three-year contract with major studios approved by the Members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) should see pay raises and protections against artificial intelligence.

The WGA won weekly pay increases, increased health and pension contributions, improved terms for residual payments, screenwriter employment and notably the transparency on viewership data from streaming platforms.

Minimum pay will increase over the next three years by 5 percent, 4 percent and 3.5 percent respectively. The agreement bars the use of AI in the writing or editing process of literary material that may be included in a Motion Picture.

Five months in the strike that plunged Hollywood’s film and television production into turmoil, the studios yielded making it easy for the 99% of WGA membership to cast 8,500 votes supporting the deal.

Writers and actors protest during the Hollywood strike
Writers and actors protest during the Hollywood strike

According to a Milken Institute estimate, the strikes have cost the California economy close to $6 billion in lost output.

The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), which represents Walt Disney (DIS.N), Netflix (NFLX.O) and other media companies, said the contract “represents meaningful gains and protections for writers.”

The group said in a statement: “It is important progress for our industry that writers are back to work.”

The writers who walked off the job during the Hollywood strike on May 2 have returned since Sept. 27 after negotiators reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP.

Actors are however on strike with SAG-AFTRA, Hollywood’s largest union and the studios set to meet again over contract talks on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

The writers’ new contract runs through May 1, 2026. Late-night talk shows such as “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and “Real Time with Bill Maher” have returned with comedy sketch show “Saturday Night Live” to make a comeback this weekend.

Key figures such as Warner Bros Discovery CEO David Zaslav, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Ellen Stutzman, the chief negotiator for the Writers Guild, facilitated the negotiation of the agreement.

Businesses associated with the film industry, caterers and production assistants all felt the pinch during the Hollywood strike.

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