Hollywood writers and studios have reached a tentative agreement, effectively ending a nearly 150-day labor strike. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, representing major studios, including Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Warner Bros. Discovery, have resolved their differences and agreed on contract terms.
Key points of the tentative contract include:
Duration: The contract will be in effect until May 2026.
Pay Increases: The agreement includes a 5% minimum pay increase upon ratification. An additional 4% pay increase will be implemented on May 2, 2024, and a 3.5% increase on May 5, 2025.
Protection Against AI Use: Writers secured protections against the use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI-generated material will not be considered source material, and AI cannot write or rewrite literary content.
Streaming Residuals: A new residual structure based on viewership was negotiated for high-budget subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) series and films. If a show or film is viewed by 20% or more of a streaming service’s domestic subscribers within the first 90 days of release, writers will receive a bonus equal to 50% of the fixed domestic and foreign residual.
Health and Pension Benefits: Writers will see increased contribution rates to their health and pensions.
Compensation and Minimums: The agreement includes improved screenwriter compensation, increased writers’ room minimums, and the continuation of a $250,000 showrunner training program.
Residual Equity: Streamers will provide the guild with the total number of hours streamed both domestically and internationally for self-produced high-budget streaming programs.
WGA members will have until October 9 to cast their votes on the contract, after which it will be ratified if approved. This agreement could serve as a template for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) in their ongoing negotiations with Hollywood studios.
SAG-AFTRA members have been on strike since mid-July, seeking improvements in wages, working conditions, health and pension benefits, AI usage guidelines, and more transparency from streaming services regarding viewership data. The WGA contract negotiations may influence SAG-AFTRA’s contract discussions.