Hollywood writers' strike threat lifted with last-minute deal

Carla Harmon
May 3, 2017

News has reported that the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers came to terms on a new contract early Tuesday.

The deal comes after the members of the Guild, the union representing writers in the motion picture, broadcast, cable and new media industries, overwhelmingly voted in favor of a strike (April 24), if an agreement could not be reached by the union and the studios when their contract was to expire on May 1. Scribes were not eager to potentially lose wages and put projects in jeopardy (the AMPTP estimated the previous 100-day strike of 2007-08 cost writers more than $287 million in short-term compensation, though WGA leaders disputed that number, especially considering the benefits of the deal that was eventually struck).

According to a memo from the WGA negotiating committee, the new contract also includes gains in minimums "across the board", as well as contribution increases to the WGA health care plan that are expected to keep it solvent. We have won a 15% increase in Pay TV residuals...and for the first time ever, job protection on Parental Leave.

"Did we get everything we wanted?"

Payment of overages when writers work longer on episodes of short-order series, an issue referred to as "span" because the crux of the matter is the time span that a writer spends working on a script. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news. "Everything we deserve? Certainly not", members of the Writers' negotiating committee wrote in a statement to members, via Deadline.

There had been anticipation of a strike to begin in May, but The Washington Post reports that it was narrowly averted by a last minute deal on Tuesday. As we previously explained, the talks largely revolved around two issues: fairly compensating writers in the age of Peak TV when television seasons are much shorter, and in providing better funding to writers' healthcare needs. "We didn't get everything we wanted and they didn't get everything they wanted, which is usually the result of a successful negotiation".

The deal requires ratification by members of the Writers Guild of America.

Members still need to agree to the settlement.

Other reports by iNewsToday