Hollywood writers agree to end five-month strike after new deal
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The Writers Guild of America (WGA) has confirmed it has agreed that the strike, which began on 2 May, will come to an end following a settlement.
Hollywood writers began the strike on 2 May, with members of the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG AFTRA) joining on 13 July. The strike has been the longest to affect Hollywood in decades, with actors and writers last striking together in 1960, 63 years ago.
Union leaders have voted 'unanimously' to recommend the deal to its members. It will now be put to a vote for the approximately 11,500 members of the WGA.
The deal includes provisions about the use of AI by studios in production. NBC has reported that under the agreement writers cannot be forced to use AI to produce material, but can choose to use it if a company consents.
Writers would also have to be informed if any material has been produced by AI, and AI cannot write or rewrite 'literary material', and is not being considered 'source material', according to a summary of the agreement on the WGA website.
The deal also reportedly contains increases in minimum weekly pay rates, as well as minimum numbers of writers.
The strike has lasted some 148 days since it began on 2 May, and has reportedly cost the US economy $5 billion according to estimates from economist Kevin Klowden.
It has seen production on many well-known shows shut down, including The Handmaid's Tale, Hacks, Severance, The Last of Us, Stranger Things, and Yellowjackets, as well as a number of daytime and late night talk shows.
While the WGA has now reached an agreement with the AMPTP, which represents a number of studios, actors are yet to reach an agreement and remain on strike.
WGA membership must also now vote on the agreement, though union leaders have shown support for it.
Actors are also disputing pay and conditions, with many actors drawing attention to low residuals even when they have a substantial role in a well known title.
SAG AFTRA is also seeking reassurance about the use of AI, in particular the use of programmes to recreate the visual and vocal likenesses of performers.
A statement from the WGA on the agreement said: "The WGA reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on a new three-year Minimum Basic Agreement. On September 26th, the Negotiating Committee, the WGAW Board and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the agreement.
"It will now go to both guilds’ memberships for a ratification vote. Eligible voters will be able to vote from October 2nd through October 9th, and will receive ballot and ratification materials when the vote opens."