Pictured: WGA West & WGA East Negotiating Committee
(Image C/O Eric Haywood)
By Andrew Martinez Cabrera
After 148 days of striking, the Writer’s Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) reached a historic landmark agreement and officially ended the Writer’s strike on September 27, 2023.
On September 14, 2023, the WGA announced publicly that they were getting ready to restart negotiations with the AMPTP after a month of no deliberation from both parties. On Wednesday, September 20, 2023, the WGA met with the AMPTP for the first time and continued meeting with them consecutively for four days. On the fourth and final day of negotiations, the WGA stated on their WGA contracts website, “We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA [Minimum Basic Agreement], which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language.”
Many of the WGA’s key concerns were addressed in the new contract, such as A.I. involvement and regulation in television and film productions, increased residual payments by 76% according to The New York Times, additional streaming and viewership-based bonuses which prior to the strikes was kept under lock and key by streaming companies, and a minimum sized writing staff requirement for certain productions.
In the aftermath of the strikes, many television productions were quick to resume production. An early example includes various Late Night television programs like “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” coming back after a long hiatus, most of which have already aired their returning episodic debuts. Many films whose productions were suspended during the strikes can also resume, whether that is in the preproduction aspects or in the actual making of the project.
Whilst the Writers have gotten their fair deal, the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) is still on strike. While picketing for writers was suspended on September 24, the WGA encouraged its 11,000 members to picket alongside SAG-AFTRA members. In the SAG-AFTRA’s congratulatory statement for the WGA, they wrote, “While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members.”
Following the AMPTP’s negotiations with the WGA, the AMPTP is currently meeting with SAG-AFTRA negotiators, which started on October 2, 2023. The SAG-AFTRA strike has lasted 80 days.
Madison Sciba '24,