Hollywood Writers and Producers Reach Tentative Agreement at Day 146 of Strike, but Work Authorization Still Awaits

writers strike
(Image credit: Photo by John Malmin/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The Writers Guild of America and the major video entertainment producers said Sunday that they've reached a tentative agreement to end a strike that started 146 days ago

“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional — with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the WGA’s negotiating committee wrote in an email sent to members Sunday evening. 

But bold the word tentative: "To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then,” the WGA message added. 

Also Read: Studios and Writers Close to Strike Settlement — Sarandos, Iger, Langley and Zaslav Bargain Into the Night With WGA

Starting Tuesday, the WGA’s negotiating committee will vote on whether to recommend the agreement to board of the WGA West and council of WGA East, so they can vote on it. If it passes that muster, the 11,000 members of the WGA rank and file will vote. 

The WGA went to the mat on issues including better residuals for streaming and protection from having technologies like AI make human writers suddenly obsolete. 

Details on terms of the WGA's agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) were not disclosed. 

“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,” the message to members added. “To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again — one last time.”

The general consensus in Hollywood is that after nearly five months (the strike began on May 2), the agreement will pass muster. Not only were entertainers including Drew Barrymore and Bill Maher threatening to cross picket lines in recent weeks and return to production, Warner Bros. Discovery last week said that the work stoppage would cut into fiscal-year earnings by as much as half a billion dollars. 

It's hoped — and expected — that the WGA agreement with the AMPTP will provide a blueprint to end a subsequent strike by Hollywood actors, that began in July. 

“SAG-AFTRA congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement with the AMPTP after 146 days of incredible strength, resiliency and solidarity on the picket lines," the actors guild said in a statement Sunday evening. 

"While we look forward to reviewing the WGA and AMPTP’s tentative agreement, we remain committed to achieving the necessary terms for our members,” the statement added. “Since the day the WGA strike began, SAG-AFTRA members have stood alongside the writers on the picket lines. We remain on strike in our TV/Theatrical contract and continue to urge the studio and streamer CEOs and the AMPTP to return to the table and make the fair deal that our members deserve and demand.”

Daniel Frankel

Daniel Frankel is the managing editor of Next TV, an internet publishing vertical focused on the business of video streaming. A Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered the media and technology industries for more than two decades, Daniel has worked on staff for publications including E! Online, Electronic Media, Mediaweek, Variety, paidContent and GigaOm. You can start living a healthier life with greater wealth and prosperity by following Daniel on Twitter today!