After five days of intense negotiations between the studios and the Writer’s Guild Of America, the writer’s strike is now coming to an end after 146 days, as it has been officially confirmed that the two parties have reached an agreement.
There had been a lot of speculation that a deal was going to happen this past week, as the studio heads, including Disney’s Bob Iger, have been directly involved in the meetings, to make sure a deal could be arranged to get everyone back to work, writing films and shows for theatrical, linear and streaming releases. And apparently, the studios wanted to get a deal completed by sundown on Sunday, which is the start of the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.
The WGA has released a statement about the deal, giving details on what is going to happen next:
We have reached a tentative agreement on a new 2023 MBA, which is to say an agreement in principle on all deal points, subject to drafting final contract language.
What we have won in this contract—most particularly, everything we have gained since May 2nd—is due to the willingness of this membership to exercise its power, to demonstrate its solidarity, to walk side-by-side, to endure the pain and uncertainty of the past 146 days. It is the leverage generated by your strike, in concert with the extraordinary support of our union siblings, that finally brought the companies back to the table to make a 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.
What remains now is for our staff to make sure everything we have agreed to is codified in final contract language. And though we are eager to share the details of what has been achieved with you, we cannot do that until the last “i” is dotted. To do so would complicate our ability to finish the job. So, as you have been patient with us before, we ask you to be patient again—one last time.
Once the Memorandum of Agreement with the AMPTP is complete, the Negotiating Committee will vote on whether to recommend the agreement and send it on to the WGAW Board and WGAE Council for approval. The Board and Council will then vote on whether to authorize a contract ratification vote by the membership.
If that authorization is approved, the Board and Council would also vote on whether to lift the restraining order and end the strike at a certain date and time (to be determined) pending ratification. This would allow writers to return to work during the ratification vote, but would not affect the membership’s right to make a final determination on contract approval.
Immediately after those leadership votes, which are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday if the language is settled, we will provide a comprehensive summary of the deal points and the Memorandum of Agreement. We will also convene meetings where members will have the opportunity to learn more about and assess the deal before voting on ratification.
To be clear, no one is to return to work until specifically authorized to by the Guild. We are still on strike until then. But we are, as of today, suspending WGA picketing. Instead, if you are able, we encourage you to join the SAG-AFTRA picket lines this week.
Finally, we appreciated your patience as you waited for news from us—and had to fend off rumors—during the last few days of the negotiation. Please wait for further information from the Guild. We will have more to share with you in the coming days, as we finalize the contract language and go through our unions’ processes.
As always, thank you for your support. You will hear from us again very soon.
WGA Negotiating Committee
There is still going to be a little bit of a wait until the writers go back to work, since, as the WGA explained, the members of the union still have to vote on accepting the deal, which is expected to happen.
In the meantime, with a deal now in place, the writers are now no longer picketing, so for example, the picket at “Dancing With The Stars”, which is due to return to ABC and Disney+ this coming Tuesday, is no longer happening.
The Screen Actor’s Guild Of America is also still on strike, but the studios will now turn its attention to that situation, now that the writer’s side has been sorted. And maybe, by next month, things can return to some normality!
Are you glad the writer’s strike is over? Let us know on social media!
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.