Hollywood writers union ends strike with pay raises, protections over AI use among other gains
Hollywood writers union ends strike, members to vote on proposed deal with pay raises and AI safeguards.
Hollywood's writers union declared the end of the strike that began in May, allowing its members to return to work on September 27 while they consider a proposed three-year deal that would involve pay raises, some protections around use of artificial intelligence along with some other gains, reported Reuters.
The decision was made following unanimous approval from Writers Guild of America (WGA) leadership according to the guild's statement, and the 11,500 members have until October 9 to cast their votes on the contract, reported Reuters.
The estimated value of the deal is around $233 million per year, offering film and television writers several gains, including raises over the three years of the contract, increased health and pension contributions, and protections related to the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
Exciting news! Mint is now on WhatsApp Channels: Subscribe today by clicking the link and stay updated with the latest financial insights! Click here!
Under the agreement, major studios, including Netflix, Walt Disney, and Warner Bros Discovery, have committed to meet with the guild at least twice a year to discuss AI use in film development and production. While studios are not explicitly barred from using AI to generate content, writers retain the right to take legal action if their work is used to train AI.
Writers now have the choice to use AI when drafting scripts, but companies cannot mandate its use. The studios are supposed to disclose to writers if any materials were generated through AI.
The WGA also secured guarantees of minimum staffing in writers' rooms. Staffing will be determined based on the number of episodes per season, and minimum pay rates will rise by more than 12% over the course of three years.
“These are essential protections that the companies told us, to our faces, that they would NEVER give us," a member of the guild's negotiating committee, Adam Conover posted on X.
Conover said, "But because of our solidarity, because they literally cannot make a dollar without us, they bent, then broke, and gave us what we deserve. WE WON."
Outside United States, residuals for the use of TV shows and movies will increase, and a bonus will be awarded for the most popular streaming shows.
"Our strike was necessary. Our strike was effective. Our strike is a victory," said television writer David Slack.
Host of HBO's "Real Time," Bill Maher stated on social media that he would be back with fresh episodes beginning from September 29.
(With inputs from Reuters)
Milestone Alert!Livemint tops charts as the fastest growing news website in the world 🌏 Click here to know more.