Popular daytime and nighttime talk shows could soon return to TV, after a tentative agreement was reached Sunday between the Writer's Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
"We're on a million groupchats and threads and stuff. So, as soon as they announced the tentative agreement, my phone was sort of blowing up," said Zayd Dorhn, a WGA member and Chicago strike captain.
The tentative three-year contract comes after almost five months of a historic screenwriters' strike against Hollywood studios. As a result of the agreement, thousands of TV writers could be closer to getting back to work.
"I feel like it's something that we've been waiting for. Obviously, while we've been supporting the WGA, this seems like, OK, maybe at this point, we could go back to that negotiating table and figure out something that's gonna work for everybody, because we all want to work," said Josh Rhett Noble, an actor who has been striking in solidarity with WGA.
The terms of the deal were not immediately announced, but it apparently has much of what writers demanded. That includes increases in compensation for streaming content and guarantees that artificial intelligence technology will not intrude on writers’ credits and compensation.
"We actually don't have any of the language of the new contract yet. The Guild has called it an exceptional deal with meaningful gains and protections for its membership, but we actually don't know exactly what it covers," said Elaine Low, a staff writer for the Ankler.
As for the actors who joined the writers on strike in July, there’s still no word about resuming negotiations with their union yet.
In a comment posted online, SAG-AFTRA said it "congratulates the WGA on reaching a tentative agreement" and it remains "committed to achieving the necessary terms for [its] members."
But as writers prepare to potentially go back to work, some people in the industry predict productions are still months away from resuming filming, especially with Hollywood actors still on strike and no sign of movement from the studios.
"The thinking has been from the studio side that if the writers can get back into their rooms in October, and obviously this is also contingent on SAG-AFTRA closing out their strike and coming to a resolution and a new deal there. But if all that comes into play, then shows could go back into production as early as January," said Low.
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