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The Scroll

The Scroll

The Writer’s Strike strike over: SAGAFTRA still going on

The+strike+has+ended.
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The strike has ended.

For fans of TV shows, movies, and late-night hosts, the past couple of months have been filled with reruns and waiting a little bit longer to find out what happened after fans’ favorite show’s finale. For those who don’t know, it’s due to the writer’s strike. Or rather it was, as after 146 days, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) and major studios reached an agreement on a new three-year contract after five days of negotiations.
The second longest Hollywood strike, which began May 2, officially ended on Sept. 27 at 12:01 A.M. The new agreement, which will be valid through May 1, 2026, includes “increased foreign streaming residuals” and a “viewership-based streaming bonus.”
One of the last items that sides worked on before closing the pact was the nitty-gritty details of language around the use of AI in context productions. “This is a power grab, pure and simple. We see what’s coming. They can’t pretend we won’t be used digitally or become the source of new, cheap, AI-created content for the studios,” an actress told Deadline of AMPTP’s position on AI. 99% of the WGA’s 11,500 members voted in favor of ratifying the contract, thus allowing members to go back to work.
The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) previously attempted to address the guild’s demands on Aug. 11 for a viewership residual and minimum staffing guarantee. The WGA criticized the offer, saying it was riddled with loopholes and exceptions that made many of its provisions meaningless.
While Hollywood is eager to get back to work, studios and streaming services will need time to get shows and movies back on their feet after a five-month pause in production. Some late-night shows like Saturday Night Live have already returned, but for scripted shows like “Grey’s Anatomy,” “9-1-1,” and “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” production remains halted amid the SAG-AFTRA strike.
Known as WGA’s sister union, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) have held firm to getting better terms on streaming residuals/revenue share, in addition to better rights for actors in regards to their use of AI. SAG-AFTRA is expected to resume talks with studios as the strike passes 100 days. This comes after talks ended on Oct. 11 when SAG-AFTRA proposed a 75 cents per subscriber annual charge in the revenue share plan. The studios refused the guild’s ask, calling it an “untenable economic burden” that would cost them more than $2.4 billion throughout a new three-year contract, or more than $800 million per year. SAG-AFTRA responded by claiming that the studios “intentionally misrepresented to the press the cost of the above proposal – overstating it by 60%.”
Fran Drescher, The SAG-AFTRA President, wrote, “SAG-AFTRA members have been systematically squeezed out of their ability to make a living due to a streaming model that reduces the number of episodes in a season by two-thirds and the number of seasons by two-thirds, while completely cutting off the syndication tail.”
“Over the past decade, streaming has cannibalized much of the entertainment industry’s more traditional forms of exhibition and it is clearly here to stay. It’s a fact: streaming is generating tens of billions of dollars in revenue for these companies, but that economic success is not trickling down to actors,” she added.
Not only has the strike cost the actors, but the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike and the WGA strike have cost the California economy $5 billion. Even more, it has cost fan viewership and when shows do come back, they might not have the same hype. And who knows when or even if shows come back. Fans just want their favorite shows back, and I bet actors and writers want to work after months of unemployment. And even if this upcoming meeting with studios is successful, it’s going to be a long time before we see movies and shows in the same capacities as they once were.

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Grace Schmidt, Writer
Hi! I'm Grace and this is my second year in journalism! I want to continue in college and in the future! It's been one of the best experiences of my life. I'm a huge Taylor Swift fan and even went to her concert, which was life altering. Currently I am in a fight to get the Spartan Scroll funding.
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