The cancellation reaper wont be given a helping hand this summer: the threatened writers’ strike has been averted at the last. Updates follow:
OFFICIAL FROM THE WGA: THERE IS A DEAL!!! (A Tentative Deal; Details To Come Later.) HOORAY!!!!#WGAUnity
— WGA Perspective (@WGAPerspective) May 2, 2017
After a day of twists and turns, Hollywood has dodged a bullet. A threatened writers strike was averted early this morning when the WGA and management’s AMPTP reached a tentative agreement on a new three-year film and TV contract after the old contract had expired at midnight PT.
The deal now goes to the WGA West’s board and the WGA East’s council for approval, and then to the guilds’ members for ratification. In all, the WGA said the deal will net the guild’s members “$130 million more over the life of the contract.”
Source and more: Deadline
Talks between the Writers Guild of America and AMPTP studio alliance went down to the wire Monday night but ultimately resulted in a three-year deal, averting a threatened walkout that could have cost jobs and homes, hit the California economy with a $200 million blow per week, accelerated cord-cutting and driven audiences off linear channels and onto digital platforms.
David Young, executive director of WGA West, confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter that a deal had been reached. Leaving the closed door meetings, Patric Verrone, who was WGA president last time the guild went on strike in 2007-2008, told THR it was a good deal for the writers. Michael Winship, president of Writers Guild East, echoed Verrone’s comments and added that the union effectively mobilized the membership with the authorization.
The last Hollywood walkout lasted 100 days and cost the California economy an estimated $2.1 billion to $2.5 billion. This time, the parties managed to avoid a sequel and instead bridged their differences and the significant dollar gap that separated them.
Source and more: THR
The WGA statement can be read in full below:
May 2, 2017
Your Negotiating Committee is pleased to report that we have reached a tentative agreement with the AMPTP that we can recommend for ratification.
In it, we made gains in minimums across the board – as well as contribution increases to our Health Plan that should ensure its solvency for years to come. And we further expanded our protections in Options and Exclusivity.
We also made unprecedented gains on the issue of short seasons in television, winning a definition (which has never before existed in our MBA) of 2.4 weeks of work for each episodic fee. Any work beyond that span will now require additional payment for hundreds of writer-producers.
We won a 15% increase in Pay TV residuals, roughly $15 million in increases in High-Budget SVOD residuals, and, for the first time ever, residuals for comedy-variety writers in Pay TV.
And, also for the first time ever, job protection on Parental Leave.
Did we get everything we wanted? No. Everything we deserve? Certainly not. But because we had the near-unanimous backing of you and your fellow writers, we were able to achieve a deal that will net this Guild’s members $130 million more, over the life of the contract, than the pattern we were expected to accept.
That result, and that resolve, is a testament to you, your courage, and your faith in us as your representatives.
We will, of course, provide more details in the next few days. But until then, we just wanted to thank you – and congratulate you. Your voices were indeed heard.
Your 2017 Negotiating Committee
Chip Johannessen, Co-Chair
Chris Keyser, Co-Chair
Billy Ray, Co-Chair
Alfredo Barrios, Jr.
Howard Michael Gould
Patric M. Verrone
Howard A. Rodman, WGAW President, ex-officio
Michael Winship, WGAE President, ex-officio
David A. Goodman, WGAW Vice President, ex-officio
Jeremy Pikser, WGAE Vice President, ex-officio
Aaron Mendelsohn, WGAW Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio
Bob Schneider, WGAE Secretary-Treasurer, ex-officio
Of course, hundreds of US TV shows have and will still be axed by the end of this season, but the situation wont be worsened by a writers strike that would have added immeasurably to the death toll.
Stay tuned as we continue to monitor the fate of ALL your favorite TV shows…