Hollywood screenwriters are returning to work. After a 148-day strike, the Writers Guild of America struck a deal with studios that increases pay, institutes staffing minimums, and adds protections against the use of artificial intelligence.
Leading late-night talk shows are set to return to the air next week, though they won’t have a full pool of guests to choose from, since the actors’ union is still on strike.• 1 Meanwhile, other TV writers’ rooms can get back to work, including on hits like Abbott Elementary and Stranger Things, but those won’t be filmed until the actors are back. And writers can also return to working on scripts for future movies that were put on hold.• 2
The Hollywood Reporter, Late Night Shows Set Post-Writers Strike Return Dates
Speaking of the actors’ strike: The agreement with the writers could now guide the actors’ union and the studios toward a swift resolution, since the two unions have several overlapping concerns. The writers’ union contract also “historically sets the template for Hollywood’s other trade unions,” Vox wrote.• 3 Actors’ union leaders could resume negotiations with the studios by the end of next week, Deadline reported.• 4
The WGA negotiated directly with the heads of Disney, Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, and Netflix over the last 10 days; the executives “cleared their calendars” and agreed to stay at the table as long as was needed to reach an agreement, according to a Hollywood Reporter account of the behind-the-scenes talks. As the details were being finalized over the weekend, Disney CEO Bob Iger was dining with Paul McCartney in Beverly Hills. They received a round of shots at the end of the meal with a note saying, “Expectantly, from the showrunners of Hollywood.”• 5
The Hollywood Reporter, How the Writers Deal Got Done: Inside the Room
The studios “unnecessarily woke a sleeping giant” by leading the writers to strike, writer and actress Brittani Nichols said. The spat raised the consciousness of writers, who are now more aware of the power studios hold, she said. Nichols urged the union members to make sure that they apply their newfound tenacity to improve the industry and their communities.• 6