Everything Hollywood Writers Got In Their New Contract
The WGA has come to an agreement with Hollywood studios to end the strike on these terms.
Writers in the WGA union have ended their strike against Hollywood studios and are now returning to work following a "tentative" agreement to terms. The WGA has now shared the terms of the deal, which the union previous said was "exceptional."
While writers can now go back to work, the deal isn't finalized yet and is still being ratified. With that caveat out of the way, the WGA published its memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the deal, which gets into what, exactly, the guild won in the deliberations.
First, the deal covers a relatively short period of time, ending May 1, 2026. The guild got a lot of what it was asking for, including minimum pay increases spread over the next couple of years and increased health and pension contribution rates. Additionally, each writer on a writing team will get pension and health benefits up to a certain cap individually, as opposed to splitting the benefits with the entire team of writers.
Another major part of the deal concerned artificial intelligence. Under the terms of the deal, a writer can choose to use AI, provided they do so willingly and under company policy, but a studio cannot require a writer to use an AI service like ChatGPT to write a script. A studio might disclose if any content was written using AI, and AI cannot be used to write or rewrite any "literary material." Finally, the WGA said it "reserves the right to assert that exploitation of writers' material to train AI is prohibited by MBA or other law."
For screenwriter fees, a feature-length project made for streaming with a budget of $30 million or more will pay a minimum of $100,000, which is an increase of 18%.
Additionally, WGA members will receive residual payments based on viewership. TV shows and movies seen by 20% or more of a service's US subscriber base in the first 90 days of release will receive a 50% bonus on the fixed domestic and foreign residual fee. The WGA said this works out to a bonus of $9,031 for a 30-minute show, $16,145 for a one-hour episode, or $40,500 in a bonus payment for a movie with a budget of $30 million or more.
Additionally, the Hollywood studios agreed to share streaming data for total number of hours streamed in the US and worldwide. The WGA agreed to keep this confidential and share the figures with members only in an aggregated form.
For more on the WGA's new contract, check out the full MOA.
While the WGA has ended its strike, actors in the SAG-AFTRA union remain on strike, and video game actors could join next.
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