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WGA strike ends Sunday after negotiations

Writers Guild of America (WGA) represented more than 11,000 screenwriters from May 2. To Sept.24. The strikes started in Los Angeles, CA, and spread across the nation to NYC. At the center of the strikes is the WGA which is standing against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP), they are representative of the major studios. While there are a plethora of issues that were brought up to the AMPTP, one of the concerns was the effect of streaming on the WGA, and the industry as a whole. 

With the increase in streaming services, seasons were getting shorter and writers were out of a job most of the year. Before, the average episode in a season was around 20, but now it is around 10 episodes. This means writers have to find jobs to support living in LA and NYC. Writers in ‘developmental rooms’ were paid minimum as they wrote scripts and storylines for the shows. There was also the issue of residuals, since most streaming platforms protected their information there were limited ways for writers to know if their work was successful. A concern was that writers wanted compensation to be tied to the success of the show. 

AMPTP responded to these claims, stating that including the healthcare plans and pensions, the company’s minimum wage is around $97 million a year, which is more than the $41 million a year that the WGA accused the AMPTP of giving. AMPTP continued to state that writers were getting increases in residuals, a 46% increase to be exact. They also argued that despite the shortened seasons, which led them to work second and third jobs, working as a writer meant you received benefits that full-time employees did not receive. 

Negotiation continued for more than 100 days. Eventually, the WGA and AMPTP came to a conclusion for all of the concerns. 

“The WGA and AMPTP have reached a tentative agreement,” the WGA and the AMPTP said in a joint statement. 

The strike led many famous shows to be delayed such as Stranger Things, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Emily in Paris.

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