Los Angeles, USA, Sept 25 (EFE).- Hollywood screenwriters are awaiting the terms of the agreement reached Sunday night between their union and the studios, although they remain cautious, they are hopeful that they will finally get their long-awaited “happy ending.”
The picket lines that have stretched outside Netflix’s Los Angeles offices for nearly five months were virtually deserted Monday as many writers and actors celebrated the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.
Screenwriter Travis Adam Wright, co-writer of “Eagle Eye,” had forgotten that the guild was celebrating Yom Kippur and went to the picket lines, where he told EFE that his reaction to the tentative agreement was one of caution.
“None of us have seen the agreement, so we don’t know how it stands yet,” the screenwriter explained.
However, Wright expressed confidence in his colleagues and in particular in screenwriter Adam Conover (“The Britishes”, 2014), one of the leaders of the negotiations, who on Sunday published on the social network X (formerly Twitter) a statement from the negotiating committee of the Writer’s Guild of America, calling the agreement ” exceptional.”
Despite the fact that there was no one in front of Netflix, Wright decided to continue protesting and improvised a banner with a piece of cardboard and a wooden pole he found on the street.
The preliminary agreement reached Sunday night between the Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers marks the first major step toward ending the historic strike that has rocked the entertainment industry for months.
One strike down, another one to go
The deal for a new collective bargaining agreement offers a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel for Hollywood, which has held back most of its productions due to the work stoppages, but the studios still have to negotiate with the actors’ union (SAG-AFTRA).
It is therefore expected that the actors will continue to gather tomorrow near major studios such as Amazon, Netflix and Disney, and it is possible that some screenwriters will join in a gesture of solidarity, even though they have already reached an agreement.
Indeed, Wright, who also worked on “The Lazarus Project,” said he will continue to hit the picket lines in solidarity with his fellow writers.
“I’m going to keep coming out to support the actors because they supported us. Without the actors, we writers would never have come to an agreement,” he said.
What comes next
Leaders of the Writers Guild of Hollywood will meet on Tuesday to discuss and vote on the agreement, and will then update union members on what has been agreed upon with the studios.
According to Variety, the strike itself will remain in effect during the process of approving and ratifying the new contract.
However, the picket lines were officially suspended as of Sunday night, and union leaders are expected to vote Tuesday on whether to lift the strike order, according to Variety.
If the dispute is resolved, some productions such as “Saturday Night Live” or “The Drew Barrymore Show” could return to the air in early October, according to Variety.
The writers went on strike for nearly five months to demand better working conditions from the studios, regulation of the use of artificial intelligence and congruent payments for each time one of their works is rebroadcast, the so-called residual rights.
Their walkout led to the shutdown of major television and film productions, but ultimately it was the actors’ strike that began on July 14 that brought Hollywood to a standstill.
The hope now is that the resolution of the Hollywood studios’ dispute with the writers will open the door for the actors’ union to more easily negotiate its own agreement, as the two organizations have been estranged since July 12.EFE