The Writers Guild of America (WGA) reached a preliminary agreement with major film studios on Sunday. The agreement is intended to end the screenwriters’ strike that has been ongoing since May 2, which has led to the suspension of many productions and billions in losses for the American film industry.
The agreement, which is to be valid for three years, still needs to be approved by the authorities and WGA members. The trade union represents 11.5 thousand. scriptwriters working on film and television productions.
The agreement provides “significant benefits for screenwriters and their protection,” said the WGA team that negotiated the agreement with AMPTP, the ociation of the industry’s largest producers, in a statement. “We have reached a preliminary agreement,” said the AMPTP statement.
Screenwriters went on strike on May 2, when negotiations regarding remuneration, the number of employed screenwriters, the use of artificial intelligence and the system of royalties for productions shown on streaming platforms stalled.
There has also been a strike of actors ociated with the SAG-AFTRA trade union since mid-July. The double strike in Hollywood forced the suspension of many television and film productions. Losses in American states that are centers of film production: California, New Mexico, Georgia and New York may amount to at least USD 5 billion – reports Reuters based on expert calculations.
This week, the presidents of the largest film producers such as Warner Bros, Netflix, Disney and Universal personally joined the negotiations.
The strike of Hollywood screenwriters is related to new forms of program distribution and technological development – notes Reuters. One of the main demands concerned the negotiation of rates for materials created for streaming services. The writers argued that their current royalties were only a fraction of what they would earn if these shows aired on television. Another issue raised by the strikers was the fear of being replaced by artificial intelligence and the issue of regulating the role of AI in the industry. (PAP)