After 146 days of picketing, the Writers Guild of America reached a tentative agreement for a new contract with the studios on Sunday, effectively ending the nearly five-month walkout of Hollywood scribes everywhere. Writers embarked on their first strike in more than a decade after withdrawing from contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers on May 1 in pursuit of a better deal.
“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 negotiating committee wrote in an email to its members. Though the union is suspending picketing, a contract must still be finalized and sent to more than 11,000 members for ratification, the email continued. “No one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild,” the message concluded, before encouraging writers to support SAG-AFTRA on the picket lines as the actors strike extends to nearly 75 days.
Los Angeles Times film reporter Jen Yamato was on the ground as news of the tentative deal broke, capturing video of writers celebrating the accomplishment at North Hollywood’s Idle Hour bar by “breaking into a spontaneous chant thanking the WGA Negotiating Committee.”
J.W. Hendricks, a writer who has been capturing photos of various pickets, dedicated a thread to the strike’s end, writing on X (formerly Twitter): “It has been the highest goddamn honor of my life to be on the picket line with you all. I’ve met the most amazing people and made so many new wonderful friends. Writers, I am humbled by your kindness, perseverance, and camaraderie. Film and TV are my life, and you have my eternal gratitude for fighting so hard for their future. I hope one day to be amongst you as a fellow union member.”?
Both Los Angeles mayor Karen Bass and California governor Gavin Newsom issued statements of support regarding the WGA’s tentative agreement. “This historic strike impacted so many across Los Angeles and across the nation,” Bass said. “Now, we must focus on getting the entertainment industry, and all the small businesses that depend on it, back on their feet and stronger than ever before.” Newsom echoed this sentiment, stating, “California’s entertainment industry would not be what it is today without our world-class writers. For over 100 days, 11,000 writers went on strike over existential threats to their careers and livelihoods—expressing real concerns over the stress and anxiety workers are feeling. I am grateful that the two sides have come together to reach an agreement that benefits all parties involved, and can put a major piece of California’s economy back to work.”
Joe Biden, who also expressed support for the WGA strike at its start, issued a statement acknowledging the tentative deal. “I applaud the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers for reaching a tentative agreement that will allow writers to return to the important work of telling the stories of our nation, our world — and of all of us,” he said. “This agreement,?including assurances related to artificial intelligence,?did not come easily. But its formation is a testament to the power of collective bargaining. There simply is no substitute for employers and employees coming together to negotiate in good faith toward an agreement that makes a business stronger and secures the pay, benefits and dignity that workers deserve. I urge all employers to remember that all workers — including writers, actors and autoworkers — deserve a fair share of the value their labor helped create.”
Reactions from writers and performers in Hollywood have also begun to pour in. Mindy Kaling wrote in a post that appears to have been deleted, “TENTATIVE AGREEMENT B******! CAN’T WAIT TO GO BACK TO WORK AND SEE MY PEOPLE!!!” alongside a thank you to the Writers Guild of America West and meme from her previous show, The Office, in which Steve Carell’s Michael Scott quipped, “I love my employees even though I hit one of you with my car.”