WGA reaches tentative deal with Hollywood studios, potentially ending months-long strike

The Writers' Guild of America (WGA) reached a tentative agreement with Hollywood studios on Sunday, Sept. 24, ending the 146-day strike, the WGA announced. The announcement comes after five straight days of negotiations.

While specifics of the deal were not immediately released, both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported that the agreement is for a new three-year deal, which still needs to be ratified by WGA members.

The WGA Negotiating Committee sent an email announcing the news to strike captains Sunday night, Variety reported, calling the deal "exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership." The WGA posted the announcement on X (formerly Twitter) later Sunday night.

"The WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement," the post read. "This was made possible by the enduring solidarity of WGA members and extraordinary support of our union siblings who stood with us for over 146 days. More details coming after contract language is finalized." 

The writers' strike began when approximately 20,000 writers walked off the job on May 2 earlier this year, shuttering many scripted productions and also leaving thousands of other behind-the-scenes workers without a livelihood.

Writers were later joined on the picket line in July by the SAG-AFTRA actors' union, creating the first double-barreled strike to hit Hollywood in 63 years.

The WGA's website billed their rally and subsequent protests as a "fight for a fair share of the wealth we create for studios." The guild pushed for improvements on a variety of fronts, notably for higher residual pay for streaming programs that have larger viewership, rather than the existing model that pays a standard rate regardless of a show's success.

Both unions had been pushing for protections against the use of artificial intelligence and improvements in salary, particularly on successful streaming programs.

WGA also called for industry standards on the number of writers assigned to each show, increases in foreign streaming residuals and regulations preventing the use of artificial intelligence technology to write or rewrite any literary material.

The Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP) initially pushed back against some of the WGA's demands, particularly around its calls for mandatory staffing and employment guarantees on programs. AMPTP also pushed back against WGA demands around streaming residuals, saying the guild's offer would increase rates by 200%.

The use of artificial intelligence emerged as a critical topic. The WGA says it wants a ban on the use of AI. The AMPTP said the issue raises "important creative and legal questions" and requires "a lot more discussion, which we've committed to doing."

Entertainment lawyer and journalist Jonathan Handel told FOX 11 Sunday that AI was the final sticking point in the contract negotiations.

The last WGA strike lasted from November 2007 until February 2008. Industry experts estimated that 100-day strike cost the local economy between $2 billion and $3 billion.

The SAG-AFTRA actors union went on strike July 14. There have been no known contract talks between the studios and SAG-AFTRA since that strike began.