Hollywood heaves a sigh: Writers Guild ends tumultuous strike by affirming new contract with Studios
A 148-day strike, a disrupted Hollywood, and the voice of top industry leaders - The Writers Guild of America emerges victorious with a ratified three-year contract deal.
It's official and Hollywood is breathing again. In a pivotal move, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) brought its intense 148-day strike to a close by ratifying a three-year contract. A staggering 99% of the union members voiced their approval, with the new contract term set from September 25, 2023, to May 1, 2026.
WGAW president Meredith Stiehm articulated the collective sentiment, emphasizing the determined solidarity that enabled the guild to clinch, what many perceived as an insurmountable task, just six months prior.
Hollywood stands still: The impact of the historic strike
The repercussions of the strike echoed far beyond the writers' rooms. By May 2, approximately 11,500 writers brought their pens to a halt and set up picket lines, bringing ongoing productions to their knees. The solidarity went a notch higher when SAG-AFTRA declared its own strike on July 14, virtually halting all productions.
WGAE president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen stressed on the sustained support from SAG-AFTRA, highlighting the unified front presented by the writers and performers of Hollywood. And as the strike prolonged, its ramifications expanded, with a surge in food insecurity among industry workers and even eviction reports.
The turn of the tide: How industry titans paved the way
As negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) saw multiple deadlocks, salvation came in the form of industry heavyweights. Key players including Netflix's Ted Sarandos, Warner Bros. Discovery's David Zaslav, Disney's Bob Iger, and NBCUniversal Studio Group's Donna Langley entered the arena in late September. Their direct dialogues with guild leaders swiftly changed the course, culminating in a tentative agreement by the evening of September 24.
In a Hollywood story filled with suspense, tension, and a climactic resolution, it's the writers who pen the final chapter. With the new contract in place, the spotlight now shifts to the negotiations between AMPTP and SAG-AFTRA.