The nearly five-month writers strike that paralyzed the entertainment industry was declared over Tuesday by leaders of Hollywood writers unions after board members approved a contract agreement with studios.
The governing boards of the eastern and western branches of the Writers Guild of America both voted to accept the tentative deal – which was reached on Sunday – and declared that the strike would be over and writers would be free to work starting at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.
Members of the Writers Guild still need to vote to ratify the new contract, but in the meantime, members are allowed to return to work.
“Eligible voters will be able to vote from October 2nd through October 9th, and will receive ballot and ratification materials when the vote opens,” the 2023 MBA tentative agreement said, according to WGA’s website.
WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA TO STRIKE FOR FIRST TIME IN 15 YEARS AFTER FAILED NEGOTIATIONS WITH STUDIOS
As the months-long writers strike concludes, there is still no word on when the Hollywood actors strike will end.
The terms of the new WGA agreement are in place from Sept. 25, 2023, to May 1, 2026.
Artificial intelligence regulations have been factored in to the new contract. According to WGA’s website, “AI can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA, meaning that AI-generated material can’t be used to undermine a writer’s credit or separated rights.”
With that being said, a writer can opt to use AI with their work if their company consents and the writer follows company policy.
“The company can’t require the writer to use AI software (e.g., ChatGPT) when performing writing services,” a summary of the updated contract explains.
There is also an update in foreign streaming residuals in the new contract. Now, the residuals will be based on “the streaming service’s number of foreign subscribers for services available globally.”
This accumulated a 76% increase from the original foreign residuals contract.
Some celebrities have been under fire for their decision to return to work prior to the end of the writers strike. Jennifer Aniston also faced backlash for “liking” a Drew Barrymore Instagram post explaining why she also made the decision to bring back her show amid the strike.
Barrymore took to social media following the backlash, announcing that her show would not be returning until the strike concluded.
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The writers strike began May 2 when approximately 11,500 WGA members walked off the job in protest of better pay, the size of staff on shows and the use of AI in scripts, marking the first screenwriters strike since 2007 and the longest since 1988.
“This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who joined us on the picket lines for over 146 days,” WGA West previously said in a statement to FOX Business.
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Hollywood actors, who joined the WGA members on strike in July, remain on the picket line with no deal in the works at the moment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.