The leaders of the Writers Guild of America on Tuesday called off a month’s long strike that has paralyzed Hollywood, accepting a pay deal hammered out with production studios.
The powerful writers’ union’s board of directors “voted unanimously to recommend the agreement,” it said in a statement, adding “the strike ends at 12:01 am” Los Angeles time on Wednesday.
The union’s 11,500 members will have final say on whether or not to accept the offer, with a vote to take place between October 2 and 9.
Details of the deal released by the WGA on Tuesday seemed to show a victory for the writers, who were pushing for more pay amid the upending of the industry via streaming, as well as protections from artificial intelligence.
Bonuses will be in place for writers on a series that is viewed by 20 percent or more of a streamer’s domestic subscribers in the first 90 days of its release, a win for writers who saw their residuals decline in the Internet age.
AI-generated material also can’t be considered “source material,” and thus undercut writers’ pay if they work on a script that used AI.
The WGA also “reserves the right to assert that exploitation of writers’ material to train AI is prohibited,” according to the summary.
Theoretically, the deal can still be rejected by the screenwriters, but most industry experts believe the ratification will be a formality.
Work on stymied TV and film projects can restart while the voting process is being completed.
Late night talk shows are expected to start airing again next month.