It seems we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel in one of the most important periods in the history of the world of cinema. The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and Hollywood studios have reached an “unique agreement.” An agreement that is temporary and must be approved by union members to end the strike that has paralyzed industrial production for five months. A strike that the actors participated in on July 14.
No surprises were expected in the WGA leaders’ vote to approve the deal. Meanwhile, the actors are still on strike and the film industry executives are yet to negotiate with them. The agreement between the studios and screenwriters was announced on Sunday night. It is one of the longest conflicts in the history of cinema with a paralysis of 146 days.
“We can say with great pride that this agreement is unique, with many wins and protections for all writers,” the Writers Guild of America (WGA) announced in a statement. The two parties returned to negotiations on Wednesday after long months of tension and no rapprochement. In August, the last attempt at an agreement so far failed.
The scriptwriters felt mocked by the industry and decided to take strong action on the matter. They demand a change in the economic and salary structure of the television and film industry. They consider that being screenwriters does not give them enough job opportunities and it also does not allow them to make a living from it.
It’s been five months of almost total cessation. The scriptwriters exploded because of a situation that arose due to the decrease in income from television networks and streaming platform services. Only two weeks separate this strike from the longest in union history. It remained unchanged in 1988, lasting 154 days.
This agreement became possible – according to the writers – due to the decision of the studios to reformulate the collective contract the scope that the weight of artificial intelligence is in the scripts, and some minimum rules for ” writers’ rooms.”
Complaints poured in that Hollywood studios were abusing so-called ‘mini rooms’: a more compact version of writers’ teams. They are used to create more content in less time and with less hands for streaming platforms. This saves cost and makes the job more delicate. The new pact dictates a minimum number of people who must write a series for television.