After a nearly five-month-long strike, the Writers Guild of America (WGA) is telling its members to lower their picket signs. In a post, the WGA said its Negotiating Committee, WGAW Board, and WGAE Council all voted unanimously to recommend the deal reached with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers.
The terms of the deal have been posted so that we can see them for the first time, and two segments that jump out are the regulations around the use of generative AI tools as well as data about streaming and how bonuses are calculated.
There’s a new viewership-based bonus structure in place for series and films made for streaming, plus an agreement for the studios to share data with the Guild on the number of hours streamed for projects like Netflix’s original series. When it comes to AI, it “can’t write or rewrite literary material, and AI-generated material will not be considered source material under the MBA.” Also, companies can’t require writers to use AI software like ChatGPT.
Even with writers back to work, we might not see productions fully return to normal. The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) — a union representing about 160,000 performers in the entertainment industry — is still on strike. Until both writers and actors resume working, we likely won’t see productions go back to normal.
(Disclosure: The Verge’s editorial staff is also unionized with the Writers Guild of America, East.)