Hollywood writers in deal to end US studio strike

Screenwriters in the US say they have reached a tentative deal with studio bosses that could see them end a strike that has lasted nearly five months.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) said it was “exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers”. WGA members must still have a final say.

It is the longest strike to affect Hollywood in decades and has halted most film and TV production.

A separate dispute involves actors, who are also on strike.

The writers’ walkout, which began on 2 May, has cost the US economy around $5bn (£4.08bn), according to an estimate from Milken Institute economist Kevin Klowden.

The dispute has shut down many of America’s top shows, including The Last of Us, Billions, Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, Hacks, Severance, Yellowjackets, Abbott Elementary and several daytime and late-night talk shows.

As well as issues around pay, the writers fear the impact of artificial intelligence potentially supplanting their talents.

Negotiations also broke down over staffing levels and the royalty payments that writers receive for popular streaming shows. They complain that those residuals are just a fraction of the earnings they would get from a broadcast TV show.

Traditionally, writers would receive additional payments when their programmes were repeated on a broadcast network. However, this model was undermined with the advent of streaming.

As a result part of the payments writers now receive generally include a certain amount of money which is intended to compensate for the royalties they are not receiving from broadcast repeats.

BBC.

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