Screenwriters wait to learn terms of deal with Hollywood studios to end historic strike

September 25, 2023  -LOS ANGELES (AP) — Screenwriters waited Monday to learn what their five-month strike won and prepared for a possible return to work after their union reached an agreement with studio executives that could help end the walkouts that brought Hollywood to a standstill.

The historic shutdown will go on for now, with actors remaining on strike and no talks planned, though the tentative deal announced Sunday night may provide momentum that could lead to a resolution for them too. That would allow full production to resume for the first time since May.

The governing boards of the two branches of the Writers Guild of America are likely to vote on the contract Tuesday. With their approval, writers will then vote on the deal, and the strike can officially end. Network shows including NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” could return to the air within days.

Details of the agreement have not yet been made public or even shared with the writers themselves because the contract language is being finalized. But the WGA said in an email to members that the deal was “exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership.”

The 11,500 screenwriters walked off the job May 2 over issues of pay, the size of writing staffs and control of the use of artificial intelligence in scripts.

“It’s been a long, hard-fought victory,” John August, a writer on films including “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” who is also a member of the negotiating committee, said on his podcast, choking up as he spoke. “But it’s nice to be near the end.”

Writer and guild member Zayd Dohrn said many lives were upended during the strike and will now be changing again, but they’re used to it.

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