Writers Guild of America and Studios Reach Deal to End Strike
by Patrick Wilson
The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the major Hollywood studios have reached a tentative deal on a new contract, all but ending a 146-day strike that has contributed to a shutdown of television and film production.
The agreement, which was announced on Sunday night, must still be ratified by WGA members, but it is a major breakthrough in the long-running dispute. The strike, which began on May 2, was the longest in WGA history.
The new contract includes a number of gains for writers, including:
- A 5% pay increase in the first year, followed by 4% and 3.5% increases in subsequent years.
- Residuals for streaming content.
- A guaranteed number of on-the-week jobs for writers.
- Regulations regarding artificial intelligence.
- Preservation of the writers’ room.
One of the most significant provisions of the new contract is the regulations on artificial intelligence (AI). Under the agreement:
- AI cannot be used to write or rewrite literary material.
- AI cannot be used as source material for literary material.
- MBA-covered material cannot be used to train AI.
- If a WGA member uses AI to create a script, they must be credited as a writer.
- If a producer uses AI to create a script, they must find a WGA writer to pay.
These provisions are designed to protect writers from having their jobs replaced by AI, and to ensure that writers are compensated for their work, even if it is done in collaboration with AI.
The agreement also includes a provision for the creation of a joint WGA-AMPTP committee to study the impact of AI on the entertainment industry and to develop recommendations for how to address it.
The WGA’s agreement on AI is significant because it is one of the first collective bargaining agreements to address the issue. It is also likely to have a ripple effect in other industries where AI is being used to automate creative work.
The end of the WGA strike is good news for everyone involved, and it will be a boon to the Hollywood industry.
** This piece was created with the help of ai.