Movie and television show writers will head back to work after reaching a deal with the movie studios, ending a strike that has lasted 146 days.
The Writers Guild of America East tweeted that a deal had been struck on Sunday night. Variety reported that the three-year tentative agreement addressed many of the concerns expressed by the writers.
“We can say, with great pride, that this deal is exceptional – with meaningful gains and protections for writers in every sector of the membership,” the WGA’s negotiating committee wrote in an email to sent to members obtained by Variety.
A spokesman for the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers confirmed the deal, but didn’t offer any other details.
A spokesman for the WGA wasn’t available to comment further on the deal.
This strike was the second-longest in WGA history, behind only the 154-day work stoppage in 1988 still, and had a devastating effect on the entertainment industry. Compounding the issue was a separate strike from the SAG-AFTRA actors guild, which is still going. The two strikes left production halted for months. The resulting thin pipeline of scripted content has forced broadcasters to fill primetime with more game shows and reality programming.
The two sides seemed far apart on issues like pay and residual increases, with the WGA calling an offer from the AMPTP made in August, “inadequate.” This came after terms of the offer were leaked shortly after representatives from the WGA walked out on the talks. But both parties seem to warm over the last few days, and appeared to make progress after coming back to the bargaining table.
A move towards prioritizing streaming content over the last few years fueled this standoff, with writers demanding better compensation and protections to make up for the new model’s tendency to lean on shorter, less frequent seasons of shows and contracts that offered little residuals.
The strike is technically still in effect until the union members ratify the new contract, but picketing was suspended on Sunday night. Variety reported that the union is expected to vote on Tuesday.
While the writers strike may have ended, actors remain on the picket lines as they still need to work out their own deals. So for now, many productions will continue to be on hold. The actors are asking to address many of the same issues as the writers, so this potentially paves the way for SAG-AFTRA to reach its own deal and finally get Hollywood back to work.