In a significant development for Hollywood, members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have given their approval to a new three-year contract with major studios. This decision comes after a strike was called by the union five months ago, causing substantial disruption in the film and television production sectors.
The WGA reported that approximately 99% of the nearly 8,500 votes cast supported the new contract. The agreement includes provisions for pay raises, certain safeguards regarding the use of artificial intelligence, and other benefits.
WGA West President Meredith Stiehm expressed her satisfaction, stating, “Together, we were able to accomplish what many said was impossible only six months ago.” However, it’s worth noting that the resolution of labor disputes in Hollywood is far from complete. Members of the SAG-AFTRA actors union initiated a strike in July and are currently engaged in negotiations with studio representatives to reach their own agreement.
These extended labor strikes in the entertainment industry highlight one of the prominent instances of resurging labor issues across various sectors in the United States this year, affecting companies as diverse as UPS and Detroit automakers. The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), representing major entities such as Walt Disney and Netflix, applauded the new contract, emphasizing that it “represents meaningful gains and protections for writers.”
The group further underscored the importance of writers returning to work. The strike, which commenced on May 2, led to numerous film and TV set shutdowns and significant delays in the production of shows scheduled for the fall broadcast season.