This week, the Writers Guild Association (WGA) won a monumental victory with the institution of their Tentative Agreement. This is an amazing achievement for the entertainment industry, families and Hollywood alike.
After a long and grueling 148 days of being on strike fighting for a new contract, the WGA had finally reached a Tentative Agreement on Sep. 24. The Tentative Agreement allows for job security, rights against the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), and better overall pay and health care, and most of all, allows people and families to return to their everyday lives.
While the tentative agreement is a huge achievement, we are already seeing the negative effects on us, as viewers, and families in the industry.
They were still on strike on Monday and Tuesday, but had suspended being at the picket lines. WGA members were encouraged to join forces with Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA)as an act of solidarity.
Workers returned Wednesday morning, as the WGAW Board and WGAE Council held a unanimous vote to approve the tentative agreement and end the strike.
This new contract includes better residuals for writers, job security increases, and importantly writers will be paid fairly.
They also now have a minimum room requirement for shows ranging between 1-13+ episodes. The minimum number of writers that will be required now is three.
One of WGA’s biggest pressing matters is the use of AI in the entertainment industry. Now companies will not be able to use writer’s work to train AI, use AI to write or rewrite a work, and writers will be informed if AI is being used in any form.
The contract will run until May 1, 2026, where they will have to either renegotiate or renew it.
The Hollywood strikes are a huge hit to the entertainment industry, and especially the families within it.
WGA strike captain Henry Gammill, located at the Netflix lot, a comedy and animation writer, was on the front lines. His role was to make sure that everyone had water and energy.
Right before the strike, Gammill was hired to write for a show but learned that same night the strike was called. He currently does game testing and other side jobs to stay afloat and pay the bills.
Gammill adds that while the strikes are really hard he holds optimism, “I’ve made so many new friends, I’ve met a lot of great people and heard a lot of different stories that I can relate to, and some that I can’t and I just working as a strike captain for the past five months, I have like a dozen or two dozen new friends who were the other captains there were these people that I’d never met before.”
Gammill is expected to return within the next month.
The strikes also affect us as viewers, shows and movies are getting delayed because actors and writers are not producing new content. Gammill believes we will feel the bulk of the effects next year, but a current effect we are feeling is delays in award shows like the ‘Emmy Awards’.
Taylor Boyd, a location manager for a variety of televised productions like Godzilla and 13 Reasons Why, has been out of work since the strikes. He has taken a part time job, and his wife has been pulling more shifts just to make ends meet, dipping into their savings account and pushing retirement a few more years back.
Boyd adds that while he is not part of SAG-AFTRA, and is a part of Union Teamsters Local 399, he and his union stand in solidarity with SAG-AFTRA and will not be able to get a negotiated contract renewal at the end of this.
At the time of publication, there are no new updates with SAG-AFTRA’s contract being renewed. They will start bargaining on Oct. 2 with Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP).