The Misery Ends: What Actors and Writers Won from the Strike

If you haven’t seen enough of it yet, here’s what’s up. Earlier in the summer, writers and actors went on strike for better pay and working conditions – which affected not only them but all the crew and working people who support them. It was a strike that truly rocked Hollywood and was felt deeply by all, financially and otherwise.

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) demanded increased minimum compensation in all areas of media, increased residuals, appropriate TV series-writing compensation from pre- to post production, increased contributions to pension and health plans, the strengthening of professional standards and the overall protections for writers, and certain protections from AI (like writing scripts, etc). 

By the end of September, they reached an agreement with major Hollywood studios for a new, three-year contract that ended the writers strike. The guild called the deal “exceptional with meaningful gains and protections for writers.”

Once the writers came to an agreement, everyone expected the actors to quickly follow suit. Instead the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) doubled down and the strike extended for an additional 5 weeks. But, after over 6 months of Hollywood being effectively shut down, both strikes are now officially over.

Read More about how AI is affecting Creators here.

End of the Strikes - Content Creation Wins!
Agreement is reached in the WGA and SAG strikes

Strike Update: A Win for Creators!

After months and months of striking, it’s over. And with some great results.

Writers get Minimum writers rooms, which means series with more than six episodes per season are required to hire at least six writers. They also get the success-based bonus where writers get paid for hit shows on platforms. This is especially important because now Streamers are obligated to share show ratings – something they have not wanted to to. 

Lastly, AI-generated content can’t be used to diminish the writer’s credit or create expansive content. Writers, real writers, must be involved. 

But what’s a script without an actor?

Thankfully, the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) just ended on November 9th as well.

Their new contract includes a 7-percent increase in general wages, effective immediately with future increases in 2024 and 2025. The total package includes more than $1 billion in new wages and benefit plan funding. SAG also secured “consent and compensation guardrails” on the use of AI, stipulating that a studio must obtain an actor’s informed consent before creating or using a digital replica of a performer — whether they’re an A-list star or a background actor. This turned out to be one of the more divisive issues that held up the agreement.

On top of that,  the new contract establishes a streaming participation bonus for the first time, compensating performers in addition to traditional residuals. Other wins include improved relocation benefits, regulations on self-taped auditions, and increased residuals for stunt performers.

All in all, good news for writers and actors. And though this didn’t affect the online space as much (YouTube content for example), it does point to the strength creators can have when they get together to demand better pay and working conditions.

The bottomline: Don’t be taken advantage of. Know yourself and your work’s worth!  

Here’s a real deep and informative dive on what SAG specifically got from their contract, plus an analysis of AI and it’s growing role in Hollywood. 👇🏽

SAG and the Strike

 

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