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Hollywood writers, studios reach tentative agreement after a nearly 150-day WGA strike

Hollywood writers, studios reach tentative agreement after a nearly 150-day WGA strike
Hollywood writers, studios reach tentative agreement after a nearly 150-day WGA strike 04:58

Hollywood writers and studios have tentatively agreed to a new contract after a nearly 150-day strike that brought the entertainment industry to a grinding halt.

The details of the deal have not been released. A majority of the 11,500 Writers Guild of America members must now ratify the tentative contract.

A message was sent to WGA members at around 7:20 p.m. to announce the tentative deal.

"What we have won in this contract — most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd — is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days," the message said. "It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a deal."

WGA members are asked to remain patient as negotiators ensure that the new deal is "codified in final contract language," the message said.  "Though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last 'i' is dotted." 

Deadline's Dominic Patten offers thoughts on tentative deal between WGA, Hollywood studios 05:31

The latest round of negotiations began on Thursday, with major participants like Netflix's Ted Sarandos, Universal Studios' Donna Langley and Warner Bros./Discovery CEO David Zaslavand and Disney's Bob Iger taking part, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Conversations continued each day until the agreement Sunday.

"To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then," negotiators said Sunday following the news. "But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing."

The strike, the first one that the industry has faced since 2007, started on May 2 after the two sides struggled to agree on several tenets

At the time, writers said they were fighting for the continued existence of their professions, claiming streaming and artificial intelligence threatened to push people out of a job. 

However, the studios and their representative, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, claim that it had extended a "generous" offer to writers — something that the WGA vehemently disputed, claiming it is "wholly insufficient."

"We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership," WGA's message said. 

Should the deal be authorized, WGA Board and Council members are slated to vote on Tuesday to determine whether they will life the current restraining order and end the strike at a specific time and date.

California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a statement on the agreement. 

"California's entertainment industry would not be what it is today without our world class writers. For over 100 days, 11,000 writers went on strike over existential threats to their careers and livelihoods — expressing real concerns over the stress and anxiety workers are feeling," Newsom's statement said. "I am grateful that the two sides have come together to reach an agreement that benefits all parties involved, and can put a major piece of California's economy back to work."

Following the announcement, Mayor Karen Bass issued a statement, which said;

"After a nearly five-month long strike, I am grateful that the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers have reached a fair agreement and I'm hopeful that the same can happen soon with the Screen Actors Guild. This historic strike impacted so many across Los Angeles and across the nation. Now, we must focus on getting the entertainment industry, and all the small businesses that depend on it, back on their feet and stronger than ever before."

While this tentative agreement gives Hollywood a glimmer of hope of returning to work, actors still need to strike a deal for the industry to get back into full swing. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Many KCAL News producers and writers are WGA members. However, they are on a separate contract. Paramount Global owns CBS and KCAL News and is part of the AMPTP.

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