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Writer Wednesday: The WGA Strike Reaches an End

Hello and Good Morning authors and welcome to another Writer Wednesday where we talk shop, industry, and more. Today we finally have some good news as the WGA finally hits on results. After nearly 150 consecutive strike days (I believe 148 was the final count), the WGA tentatively reached an agreement earlier this week and will officially end the strike today. It was a hard hold out for the WGA and there were more than a few upsets along the way. From the petty actions of cutting branches to deny strikers shade, to certain celebrities making the decision to break ranks and restart their shows (all the more baffling when you look at the time lines of how this strike came to a close against the huge hit to their reputation) but the WGA kept at it and there are some key takeaways from their agreement.

The WGA Strike Reaches an End

The WGA negotiated a contract to last until 2026, with a minimum pay increase of 5% that includes bumps in 2024 and 2025. The biggest piece to note is the tentative deal struck concerning AI, a massive buzz word throughout this process.

"According to the tentative deal, AI cannot write or rewrite literary material and AI-generated material will not be considered source material." -CNBC on the Hollywood Writers Strike

Also the wording here is 'tentative', it's cause for cautious optimism that the WGA succeeded in gaining significant protections against AI, a huge step in the right direction towards an overall cohesive handling of AI material versus creative works. It will be interesting to see what direction literary publishers and platforms like Amazon shift their policies these terms go into effect since Hollywood now seems to be leading the way in protecting artistic integrity. On the flip of that, writers will have the option to choose AI to aid their writing with consent from the studios.

Another huge win was on the matter of residuals. The WGA negotiated for streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney, and MAX to be more transparent with data and pay out residuals to writers based on viewership. Netflix in particular is cutthroat with their data, basing the life expectancy of a show on that data performance as a key factor.

The WGA also managed to secured minimum staffing requirements for Television shows based on episode count, which could be a massive help in keeping the next generation of screen writers in the fold.

The deal will be ratified once members vote on it on October 9th. The SAG-AFTRA, or the actor's guild, remains on strike for the moment until their reach their own deal but the new WGA contract could pave the way for negotiations there as well.

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